News Scan for Nov 08, 2019

More US Ebola funding
Polio cases in 6 countries
Dengue sexual transmission
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US announces $56 million more in DRC Ebola outbreak support

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced an additional $56 million in humanitarian aid to help curb the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ebola outbreak.

According to a statement, the new funding brings USAID's total since the August 2018 start of the outbreak to $266 million. The support also targets preparedness efforts in the region and in countries that neighbor the DRC.

"With this funding, the United States is continuing to provide life-saving assistance through on-the-ground partners, including activities to prevent and control infections in health facilities, enhanced surveillance for the disease, training for health-care workers, community-engagement efforts, the promotion of safe and dignified burials, and food to support people and communities affected by Ebola," USAID said.

Persistent transmission and the need for community buy-in has prompted the United States to expand its response to include critical needs in Ebola-hit communities, such as supporting primary healthcare facilities, rehabilitating water and sanitation systems, providing nutritional support, bolstering protection systems, and supporting economic recovery opportunities.

The United States is the largest single-donor country, and the country has a disaster assistance response team on the ground in the DRC that includes experts from USAID and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the USAID statement, the United States called on other countries to provide more financial and technical support to help end the outbreak and urged all countries that identify Ebola and other deadly diseases to report them promptly and transparently.

In other developments, no new Ebola cases were reported in the DRC today, keeping the total at 3,286 cases, 118 of them listed as probable, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) online Ebola dashboard. Health officials are still investigating 531 suspected cases. The number of deaths held steady at 2,191.
Nov 8 USAID press release
WHO online Ebola dashboard


Six countries report more polio cases, Pakistan reports vaccine-derived outbreak

In the latest polio developments, six countries reported new cases, including Pakistan, which reported both a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreak and three wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases, according to the latest weekly report from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

In Pakistan, an investigation into the source of the cVDPV2 outbreak is ongoing, and circulation has been confirmed in a limited geographic area. Seven cases in children with paralysis symptoms have been detected, including four in Diamer, one in Torghar, one in Kohistan, and one in MCI Islamabad. The virus was also found in symptomatic contacts and in healthy children. The government is launching a vaccine campaign in the affected area, targeting 180,000 children in the immediate area, with a later type 2 oral polio vaccine campaign aimed at 2 million kids under age 5 in the affected districts.

Also, Pakistan has three more WPV1 cases, raising its total for the year to 80. The children are from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. Paralysis onsets range from Sep 25 to Oct 11.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan reported one more WPV 1 case, which involves a child from Paktika province who had a Sep 28 paralysis onset. The country has now reported 21 cases for the year.

Elsewhere, four countries reported more cVDPV2 cases, including one from the Philippines that was reported earlier this week. Angola has seven new cases from four difference provinces: Malange, Huambo, Moxico, and Luanda. Paralysis onsets range from Aug 2 to Sep 17, and the country has now reported 36 cases that are part of 7 different outbreaks.

Central African Republic reported one more cVDPV2 case in a patient from RS2 province who had a paralysis onset of Aug 31. The country now has 14 cases for 2019 from 6 different outbreaks. Also, Ghana reported two more such cases, which involve patients from different locations in Northern province. Paralysis onsets were Sep 24 and Oct 4. The new cases lift the country's total for the year to 5 cases, all of which are linked to an outbreak in Nigeria. GPEI also acknowledged the cVDPV2 case from the Philippines that was reported in the media. The patient from the autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao province had a Sep 13 paralysis onset, lifting the country's total to three.
Nov 8 GPEI update


Male-to-male sexual transmission suspected in Spanish dengue cases

Spanish health officials have reported sexual transmission of dengue virus between a man and his male partner, an unusual mode of transmission, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said today in its weekly communicable disease update.

Health officials quoted in Spanish media reports indicate a man in Madrid began having dengue symptoms in the middle of September, and an investigation found that he had not traveled outside of Spain, so his infection was classified as locally acquired.

After his illness was confirmed, his male partner who had similar symptoms that began in early September underwent testing, which was positive for dengue. The man had a history of recent travel to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and his illness is classified as imported.

Entomologic investigations near the mens' residence were negative, and no adults Aedes albopictus mosquitoes were found. Genetic sequencing confirmed the virus in both cases were identical and similar to dengue circulating in Cuba.

The ECDC said the local case likely reflects sexual transmission. Spanish health officials didn't find any cases of sexual dengue transmission among men in the medical literature, though there was a reported case of transmission from a woman to a man in South Korea. The ECDC noted that in a Eurosurveillance report, semen was found to be positive for dengue 37 days after symptom onset.
Nov 8 ECDC weekly communicable disease threat report

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