WHO: Global Alert and Response (GAR) [to 8 June]

WHO: Global Alert and Response (GAR) – Disease Outbreak News

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update 7 June 2013
7 June 2013 – The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has notified WHO of an additional laboratory-confirmed case with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

The patient is a 83-year-old man with underlying medical conditions, who became ill on 27 May 2013 and died on 31 May 2013. He is from Al-Ahsa, where an outbreak began in a health care facility since April 2013.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 55 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 31 deaths…
Meningococcal disease: 2013 epidemic season in the African Meningitis Belt – update 6 June 2013
6 June 2013 – From 1 January to 12 May 2013 (epidemiologic week 19), 9 249 suspected cases of meningitis, including 857 deaths, with a case fatality ratio of 9.3 percent, have been reported from 18 of the 19 African countries under enhanced surveillance1 for meningitis. The number of cases reported so far are the lowest recorded during the epidemic season in the last ten years…

…The decrease in the number of cases of meningitis reported during the period under review is thought to be due to the progressive introduction of the newly developed Meningococcal A conjugate vaccine in countries of the African Meningitis Belt since 2010. The introduction of this first meningococcal vaccine available for preventive purposes in Africa has enabled the immunization of over 100 million people from 10 countries in the Meningitis Belt in the past three years (2010-2012). The reduced case load and epidemic activity observed this year, adds to the evidence on the impact of the introduction of this vaccine, which is expected to eliminate epidemics of Nm A, which is the predominant cause of the disease in Africa. Given that large-scale epidemics in the African Meningitis Belt appear to occur in waves of 4 to 10 years, close surveillance for meningitis remains essential…
Poliovirus detected from environmental samples in Israel – update 3 June 2013
3 June 2013 – In Israel, wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) was isolated from sewage samples collected on 9 April 2013 in Rahat, southern Israel. The virus has been detected in sewage only; no case of paralytic polio has been reported. Genetic sequencing and epidemiological investigations are ongoing to determine its origin. Preliminary analyses indicate the strain is not related to the virus currently affecting the Horn of Africa. The virus isolate was detected through routine environmental surveillance in Israel that involves regular testing of sewage water. Israel has been free of indigenous WPV transmission since 1988. In the past, wild poliovirus has been detected in environmental samples collected in this region between 1991 and 2002 without occurrence of cases of paralytic polio in the area…