Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC)  [to 20 May 2017]

Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 17 May 2017
:: The World Health Assembly (WHA) is meeting next week in Geneva, Switzerland.  Ministers of Health and public health professionals from around the world will convene to discuss global public health issues, including the global drive to eradicate polio.  Delegates are anticipated to review current status against each of the four objectives of the Polio Endgame Plan, including reviewing a report requested by the Executive Board (EB) in January 2017 on issues related to transition planning.  The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) secretariat has prepared a status report, which will inform the discussions by Member States.

Country Updates [Selected Excerpts]
New cases or environmental samples reported across the monitored country/region settings:
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Lake Chad Basin. Guinea and West Africa, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic have been removed from the monitored geographies list.

:: No new country report of case activity or environmental samples.


WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 20 May 2017]
Iraq  – No new announcements identified
South Sudan  – No new announcements identified
YemenNo new announcements identified
NigeriaNo new announcements identified
The Syrian Arab Republic  – No new announcements identified

WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 20 May 2017]
Cameroon  – No new announcements identified.
Central African Republic  – No new announcements identified.
EthiopiaNo new announcements identified.
LibyaNo new announcements identified.
MyanmarNo new announcements identified.
Niger  – No new announcements identified.
Ukraine  – No new announcements identified

Democratic Republic of the CongoSee Ebola coverage below
UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
:: IraqAlarming numbers of people fleeing western Mosul city [EN/KU/AR]  16 May 2017
:: Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 15 May 2017

Syrian Arab RepublicNo new announcements identified
YemenNo new announcements identified

UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
:: Somalia: Drought Response – Situation Report No. 8 (as of 16 May 2017)
:: Horn of Africa: Humanitarian Impacts of Drought – Issue 4 (15 May 2017)
:: Somalia: Drought Response – Situation Report No. 8 (as of 16 May 2017)

:: Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 15 May 2017

NigeriaNo new announcements identified


EBOLA/EVD  [to 20 May 2017]

Press briefing on Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
18 May 2017, audio recording

EVD – DRC: External Situation Report 5: 19 May 2017

  1. Situation update

WHO, UN Agencies, International organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and partners con­tinue to support the Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of Congo to rapidly investigate and respond to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province located in the north-east of the country.

On 19 May 2017, three new EVD cases were reported, including one probable case in Ngayi and two sus­pected cases in a new health area called Ngabatala. The suspected cases are being investigated and will be classified accordingly. As of 19 May 2017, a total of 32 EVD cases [two confirmed, three probable and 27 suspected] have been reported. To date, four deaths have been reported, giving a case fatality rate of 13%. The reported cases are from five health areas, namely Nambwa (11 cases and two deaths), Muma (three cases and one death), Ngayi (14 cases and one death), Azande (two cases and no deaths), and Ngabatala (two cases and no deaths). Most of the cases presented with fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and other bleeding symptoms and signs. The outbreak currently remains confined to Likati Health Zone. According to available information at this stage, no healthcare workers have been affected.

Out of the five blood samples analysed at the national reference laboratory, Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa, two were confirmed Zaire ebolavirus. At least 416 close contacts have been registered in Likati Health Zone and are being monitored.

This EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo was notified to WHO by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on 11 May 2017. The cluster of cases and deaths of previously unidentified illness have been report­ed since late April 2017. Likati Health Zone shares borders with two provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and with the Central African Republic (Fig. 1). The affected areas are remote and hard to reach, with limited communication and transport networks. The current outbreak is the eighth EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the disease was first discovered in 1976 in Yambuku (then Zaire)…


CEPI – Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations  [to 20 May 2017]
Ebola outbreak in DRC
CEPI is closely following the current outbreak of Ebola Zaire in DRC.

PATH statement on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Announcement | May 17, 2017

…A statement from PATH President and CEO Steve Davis follows:

“In a fast-moving public health emergency like this, a rapid response is critical to contain and control the outbreak. Our thoughts are with the individuals, families, and communities directly affected by this outbreak and with the many dedicated health workers who have responded to it so quickly.

Together with key partners like WHO, CDC, Médecins Sans Frontières, and the University of California, Los Angeles-DRC Research program, PATH was one of the first organizations on the ground to respond to this outbreak with technologies, data, and support for the DRC government, which is leading the response.

Working closely with the Ministry, PATH has quickly mobilized support for disease surveillance and outbreak response efforts, created data-sharing procedures, and provided immediate funding so the Ministry could deploy a team of investigators to the affected area.

Within 24 hours of learning about the outbreak, PATH also mobilized a cross-sector group of international partners to support the government with high-resolution satellite imagery, geospatial mapping capabilities, GPS-enabled smart phones, and other tools to help map and investigate the outbreak.

Improving epidemic preparedness and prevention are urgent priorities in our increasingly interconnected world. Heading off outbreaks before they become epidemics or pandemics depends on our ability to connect innovation end to end—from research and development of new vaccines, diagnostics, and other tools to the logistic capabilities critical to delivering innovative health solutions where they are needed.

America’s leadership in international health security is vital to preventing and containing future threats. Continued US investment in epidemic preparedness protects the health and safety of Americans as well as citizens of other nations.
PATH remains committed to doing all we can to support the DRC, and we urge other governments, international organizations, and the private sector to join with the DRC government on a coordinated response to stop this outbreak as quickly as possible.”

Editor’s Note:
We will cluster these recent emergencies as below and continue to monitor the WHO webpages for updates and key developments.

MERS-CoV [to 20 May 2017]
May 2017
WHO Target Product Profiles for MERS-CoV Vaccines
Purpose of the document
Selected disease areas are identified as WHO priorities for research and product development. In the case of MERS-CoV, target product profile development followed prioritization of MERS-CoV as part of the WHO R&D Blueprint for Action to Prevent Epidemics. The target audience includes vaccine scientists, product developers, manufacturers and funding agencies…
Modelling of the potential impact of MERS-CoV vaccines with different efficacy profiles and administered using different immunization strategies is a high priority to further refine desired characteristics. Modelling of both camel and human vaccination would be helpful. For certain vaccine characteristics, additional footnotes are provided on the rationale and assumptions made.
Yellow Fever  [to 20 May 2017]
[See op-ed by Seth Berkley in Media Watch below – New York Times]
Zika virus  [to 20 May 2017]
[No new digest content identified]