News Scan for Sep 24, 2018

Monkeypox in Nigeria
Saudi MERS case
Heartland virus in Illinois
Measles cases in Americas

Nigeria reports suspected monkeypox cases tied to UK illness

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said today that six suspected monkeypox cases are associated with one of the recent monkeypox illnesses in England, in a report that noted two new confirmed cases in the same Nigerian state as the suspected cases.

"A cluster of six suspected cases with epidemiological linkages to one of the cases in the UK has been identified in Rivers State and is being investigated in collaboration with the State team," the NCDC said in an update posted Sep 21. "In addition, two new confirmed cases have been recorded in Rivers that are not linked to the cluster described above."

Public Health England confirmed the UK's first monkeypox case on Sep 7, and a second, unrelated case on Sep 11. Both cases involved men who had been in Nigeria. The NCDC did not specify which UK case might be linked to the six-case Nigerian cluster.

With the 2 new confirmed cases, Nigeria has now confirmed 115 monkeypox cases and listed 4 additional illnesses as probable cases since September 2017. Seventeen states have now confirmed cases, with Rivers (34 cases), Bayelsa (20), and Cross River (9) reporting the most. Seven of the infections have proved fatal.

So far in 2018 the NCDC has confirmed 37 cases (2 deaths) and listed 1 as probable, in 15 states. The vast majority (79%) of case-patients have been male, and adults aged 21 to 40 have been most affected.
Sep 21 NCDC update
Sep 20 CIDRAP News story "UK monkeypox case exposed health workers, officials say"


Saudi Arabia announces new case of MERS

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed one new case of MERS in an epidemiologic report for week 39—this week.

A 50-year-old Saudi man from Afif was diagnosed as having MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) and is currently hospitalized, the MOH said. The man's illness is listed as "primary," meaning it is unlikely he contracted the virus from another person. The MOH also said he had no contact with camels, a known risk factor for MERS.

The new cases appear to have lifted the global MERS-CoV total to 2,255 cases since 2012, at least 798 of them fatal.
Sep 24 Saudi MOH report


Illinois records first case of Heartland virus

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced the state's first case of the tick-borne Heartland virus on Sep 21.

IDPH identified the patient as a resident of Kankakee County but gave no other information regarding the patient's prognosis. Kankakee is approximately 60 miles south of Chicago.

Heartland virus, which is spread by the lone star tick, has been reported in more than 30 Americans in the Midwest and southern United States since it was first identified in 2009 in two Missouri farmers. Heartland presents like other tick-borne diseases and can include fever, rash, chills, and fatigue.

"We've been seeing much warmer weather than usual for this time of the year, which people have taken advantage of by spending time outside," said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, MD, JD.  "While the weather is still warm, continue to take steps to protect yourself from tick bites."

Most people recover fully from Heartland virus, although there have been cases that resulted in hospitalization and death. There is no cure or vaccine for the virus.
Sep 21 IDPH press release


PAHO reports more than 6,000 measles cases in Americas

Since the first of the year, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has recorded 6,629 measles cases, including 72 deaths, in 11 countries in North, Central, and South America.  

The strong majority of cases (4,605, 62 deaths) are from Venezuela, which has been battling a resurgence of the virus since last year. According to PAHO, the national incidence rate is 14.5 per 100,000 population, and the states with the highest incidence rates are Delta Amacuro (208.8 per 100,000 population), the Capital District (125.0), and Amazonas (77.3).

Brazil has recorded 1,735 cases, including 10 deaths, in an outbreak that's spilled over from Venezuela. Strains of measles in that country are identical to those circulating in Venezuela, PAHO said.

PAHO said the Brazilian outbreak is ongoing, but cases have decreased recently in Roraima state, one of the epicenters of the outbreak. Children under the age of 4 are the most likely to be infected in this outbreak, PAHO said.

The United States has recorded 124 cases this year, and Colombia has confirmed 85.  

PAHO said all member states should emphasize measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination campaigns to achieve 95% coverage rates, especially among infants.
Sep 21 PAHO report

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