Health Information Update

Source: WHO, Event Information Site for IHR National Focal

Event Updates:  07 to 19 June 2017

Event Updated Country Hazard Disease Event Description IHR Assessment
2017-06-19 Nigeria Infectious Lassa Fever Lassa fever (LF) is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever illness that is known to be endemic in various West African countries including Nigeria. Since onset of the current LF outbreaks season in December 2016, a total of 490 suspected cases (including 104 deaths) have been reported. Of the reported cases, 182 have been further classified, including 168 laboratory confirmed and 14 probable cases. Similarly, of the 73 deaths, 59 are reported among the confirmed cases, while 14 among probable cases.


During the current LF outbreak, 16 Nigerian states have reported at least one confirmed case. As of week 20 (13-19 May, 2017), the outbreak is still active in 10 states (Bauchi, Cross-River, Ondo, Edo, Taraba, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, and Enugu).


WHO Advice

Prevention of LF relies on promoting good “community hygiene” to discourage rodents from entering homes. In health-care settings, staff should always apply standard infection prevention and control precautions when caring for patients, regardless of their presumed diagnosis.


On rare occasions, travelers from areas where LF is endemic export the disease to other countries.  Although other tropical infections are much more common, the diagnosis of LF should be considered in febrile patients returning from West Africa, especially if they have had exposures in rural areas or hospitals in countries where LF is known to be endemic. Health-care workers seeing a patient suspected to have LF should immediately contact local and national experts for advice and to arrange for laboratory testing.

Public Health Risk (PHR)
2017-06-16 Saudi Arabia Infectious Coronavirus infection Between 11-15 June 2017, the National IHR Focal Point of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reported fourteen (14) additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and one death among previously reported cases.


WHO risk assessment

Based on the current information available, there is no public health justification for implementing any additional measures to prevent the spread of this disease by restricting travel or trade.

Public Health Risk (PHR)
2017-06-12 Syrian Arab Republic (the) Infectious Poliomyelitis, acute paralytic, vaccine-associated A circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreak has been confirmed in the Deir Ez Zor Governorate of Syrian Arab Republic. There is evidence of genetic linkage among three isolates of type-2 Vaccine Derived Polio Viruses (VDPV2) isolated in the stool specimens of two Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) cases with dates of onset of paralysis on 5th March and 6th May, and the contact specimen of an AFP case collected on 17th April 2017. All stool specimens were tested in WHO Accredited Laboratories. All three isolates have been reported from the Al-Mayadeen district of Deir Ez Zor Governorate. Al Mayadeen was also the epicentre of the wild poliovirus type-1 (WPV1) outbreak in Syria in 2013. Aggressive multi-country polio outbreak response effectively controlled the WPV1 outbreak; no WPV1 case has been reported in Syria since 21 January 2014.


As of 6th June 2017, a total of 58 AFP cases have been reported from the Governorate this year, and in addition to the 2 cases that have tested positive for VDPV2, a further 11 have tested negative for polioviruses, and the remainder are under process in the laboratories or are being transported to the laboratories.


A detailed risk analysis is currently being updated, including assessing overall population immunity levels and strengthening active searches for additional cases of AFP.  Surveillance and immunization activities are being strengthened in neighbouring countries as well.  


WHO risk assessment

WHO assesses the risk of international spread to be medium.  

Public Health Risk (PHR)
2017-06-07 China Zoonosis Influenza due to identified avian or animal influenza virus On Friday 26 May 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of 9 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in mainland China. Onset dates ranged from 7 to 24 May 2017.  All 9 case patients were male. The median age was 63 years (range 36 to 74 years). The case patients were reported from Beijing(1), Hebei(1), Jiangsu(1), Shanxi(1), Shandong(1), Sichuan(3), Zhejiang(1).   At the time of notification, there were no deaths, 9 cases were diagnosed as having either pneumonia (2) or severe pneumonia (7). Eight

.cases were reported to have had exposure to poultry or live poultry market, and one had no known poultry exposure. No case clustering was reported.


To date, a total of 1,512 laboratory-confirmed human infections with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus have been reported through IHR notification since early 2013.


WHO Advice

WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on China based on the current information available on this event

Public Health Risk (PHR)

*A public health risk is something that is (or is likely to be) hazardous to human health or could contribute to a disease or an infectious condition in humans.