Health Information Update

Source: WHO, Event Information Site for IHR National Focal

Event Updates:  08-09 February 2018

Event Updated Country Hazard Disease Event Description IHR Assessment
2018-02-09 China Zoonosis Influenza due to identified avian or animal influenza virus On 12 January 2018, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of one laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with an avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China.


To date, a total of 1566 laboratory-confirmed human infections with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus have been reported through IHR notification since early 2013. The last reported human case of A(H7N9) virus infection was reported to WHO on 1 December 2017.


The Chinese government assessment is that newly infected human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) will continue to sporadically occur in China taking into consideration the previous epidemic situation and recent patterns.


Thus the government at national and local level continue to take preventive measures which include:

1. Holding a national H7N9 video conference, guide the local governments to stay alert and monitor epidemic properly, to ensure cases can be identified timely and effectively handled;

2.  Carrying out risk communication and issue information notices to raise awareness and provide the public with guidance on self-protection.


The government has cautioned provinces that they should stay alert to ensure that cases can be identified and managed in a timely and effective manner.


Public Health Risk (PHR)

2018-02-08 Kenya Infectious Chikungunya virus disease Between mid-December 2017 and 3 February 2018, the Ministry of Health of Kenya reported a total of 453 suspected cases including 32 laboratory confirmed cases of Chikungunya from Mombasa County.


The outbreak was first detected in mid-December 2017, when an increase in the number of patients presenting with high-grade fever, joint pain and general body weakness was reported by health facilities in Mombasa County. On 13 December 2017, eight blood samples from two private hospitals were collected and submitted to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) arbovirus laboratory in Nairobi. Of the eight samples, 4 were positive for Chikungunya and 4 for Dengue by PCR analysis.


To date, zero death has been reported among the cases however a large proportion (~70%) of cases reported severe joint pain and high-grade fever. The scale of this outbreak is most likely underestimated given the under-reporting of cases and low levels of health-seeking behaviors among the affected population. The existence of massive breeding sites in affected areas and inadequate vector control mechanisms also represent major propagating factors which could hamper outbreak response activities.


Public Health Risk (PHR)

2018-02-08 Angola Infectious Cholera From 21 December 2017 to 3 February 2018, 557 cases of cholera including 11 deaths (case fatality rate: 2.0%), Angola. The daily number of suspected cases has slowed from approximately 30 to 8 daily cases since 6 January 2018 (Figure). The initial two cases that were detected had a history of travel to Kimpangu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  For eleven deaths for whom the location of death is known, seven occurred in the community and four in healthcare facilities.


A major factor contributing to the outbreak is the lack of safe water and sanitation infrastructure in the affected area. 61% of cases reported practicing open defecation. Important factors contributing to the initial high case fatality rate and community deaths are the lack of access to health facilities in the neighborhoods most affected by the outbreak and a need to strengthen cholera surveillance at the community level.  Additionally, undocumented migrants to the area may be reluctant to seek care for cholera symptoms.  


Public Health Risk (PHR)

2018-02-08 Benin Infectious Lassa Fever On 8 January 2018, a 35-year-old Beninese man, a resident of Nigeria, presented to a hospital in Tanguiéta, Benin, with a headache, fever, vomiting blood, bleeding gums, bloodshot eyes, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, and a mentally altered state.  He was reported to have fallen ill on 15 December 2017 in Nigeria (near Saki) and travelled to Nadoba (Togo), stopping at the health centre in Tandou (Benin), where he received care. His symptoms worsened, and he presented to the health centre in Boukoumbé, Benin on 8 January 2018, prior to being referred to a hospital in Tanguiéta (Atacora department). He was received as suspected viral haemorrhagic fever, was isolated, and a blood sample was collected and shipped to the national laboratory in Cotonou, Benin. The patient died on 9 January and a safe and dignified burial was performed in Boukoumbé on 10 January. The blood sample collected from the patient tested positive for Lassa fever on 13 January 2018.


From 8 January to 6 February 2018, 21 cases including 8 deaths have been reported from four departments. Of the 21 cases, five are classified as confirmed, two as probable, and fourteen as suspected. The five confirmed cases; no chains of transmission have been identified between them. All of the confirmed cases have died. A total of 340 contacts have been identified in Benin and 64 in Togo (Nadoba); 2 of these contacts developed symptoms and became suspected cases, but subsequently tested negative for Lassa virus. Of these contacts, 71 are still being monitored in Benin, and no contacts have been lost from follow up.


Lassa fever is endemic in Benin, and Benin has been reporting Lassa every year since 2014. A Lassa fever outbreak is ongoing in Nigeria. Since the beginning of 2018, total 297 cases, including 77 confirmed by RT-PCR, serology, or virus isolation, have been reported in Nigeria. In Togo, the last outbreak occurred in 2016 and involved two confirmed cases.


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.