News Scan for Nov 16, 2015

More chikungunya
Dengue cases in Hawaii
Zika in Suriname, Indonesia
Avian flu in Cambodia, Vietnam

PAHO notes 4,000 new chikungunya cases in Americas

Countries in the Americas and Caribbean reported 4,370 recent cases of chikungunya, bringing the outbreak total to 1,768,106, according to a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) update from late last week.

The agency's previous three updates included 2,095, 13,476, and 2,938 new cases, respectively. The new infections reported in the Nov 13 update bring the total this year to 621,337 suspected and confirmed cases. PAHO also reported 4 new chikungunya deaths—after reporting 9 deaths total in the previous two updates—bringing this year's fatality total to 76.

Colombia accounted for almost all the new cases. The nation, which for a number of months has often had the most cases, reported 3,976 new cases last week, and its 2015 total now stands at 348,706. Mexico was second, with 247 cases and now has 9,642 total cases. Many countries, however, have not reported on chikungunya for weeks.

The epidemic began in December 2013 with the first locally acquired chikungunya case ever reported in the Americas, on St. Martin in the Caribbean.
Nov 13 PAHO update


Dengue outbreak in Hawaii expands to 49 cases

The number of locally acquired cases of mosquito-borne dengue fever on the big island of Hawaii has jumped by 16 in 4 days, to 49, the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) said in a Nov 14 update.

Of the 49 confirmed cases, 39 are in Hawaii residents and 10 are in visitors. Illness-onset dates range from Sep 11 to Nov 7.

Six of the 16 new cases are in children, raising that total to 10. The other 39 cases involve adults.

The HDOH said, "Dengue is not endemic to Hawaii. However, it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. This is the first cluster of locally-acquired dengue fever since the 2011 outbreak on Oahu."
Nov 14 HDOH update
Nov 11 CIDRAP News scan on previous update


More Zika cases in Suriname as Indonesia reports first virus detection

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported four new cases of Zika virus infection in Suriname late last week, while Indonesia has reported its first case, according to ProMED-Mail, the infectious disease reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.

In a Nov 13 statement, the WHO said that Suriname had notified the agency of four new lab-confirmed Zika virus infections, just 2 days after the WHO reported the South American country's first two cases.

The organization recommended that countries in the Americas should establish and maintain capacity to detect Zika infections, prepare healthcare systems for a potential surge in cases, and implement an effective public health response.

In Indonesia, meanwhile, Amin Soebandrio, chairman of the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in Jakarta, said the virus has been molecularly identified for the first time in that country, ProMED reported yesterday. Antibodies to the virus have been detected before, according to Soebandrio.

ProMED moderator Tom Yuill, PhD, said in the post that the appearance of the virus in Indonesia is not surprising, given that it has been confirmed in other Southeast Asia countries.
Nov 13 WHO statement
Nov 15 ProMED-Mail post


Cambodia reports H5N1 in ducks; Vietnam notes H5N6 outbreak

Cambodia confirmed two recent outbreaks of H5N1 avian flu affecting 8,800 ducks, while Vietnam reported the H5N6 strain in a backyard poultry flock, according to separate reports posted by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

In Cambodia, two free-ranging flocks of backyard ducks were infected with H5N1 beginning Nov 12. The first, in Siem Reap province in the northwest, affected 4,300 ducks, 180 of which died. The second outbreak was in neighboring Battambang province and involved 4,500 ducks, 2,100 of which died from the virus.

Samples in sick ducks confirmed the virus, officials said. No birds have yet been culled to prevent disease spread.

In Vietnam, 94 birds in a backyard flock in Ca Mau province in the south died from H5N6 avian flu out of 600 birds. The remaining poultry were culled to prevent disease spread. The outbreak began on Nov 7.
Nov 16 OIE report on Cambodia
Nov 13 OIE report on Vietnam

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