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Influenza A(H5N1) - Multistate (world) - Monitoring human cases (ECDC/CDTR, December 20 2013): 38 cases with 24 deaths this year

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  • Influenza A(H5N1) - Multistate (world) - Monitoring human cases (ECDC/CDTR, December 20 2013): 38 cases with 24 deaths this year

    [Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), full PDF document: (LINK). Extract.]


    COMMUNICABLE DISEASE THREATS REPORT

    Week 51, 15-21 December 2013

    (...)


    Influenza A(H5N1) - Multistate (world) - Monitoring human cases

    Opening date: 15 June 2005 Latest update: 19 December 2013


    Epidemiological summary

    Thirty-eight human cases with influenza A(H5N1) virus infection have been laboratory-confirmed since the beginning of the
    year
    .

    The countries affected this year are Cambodia (26), Egypt (4), Indonesia (3), China (2), Vietnam (2), Bangladesh (1).

    Among these cases, 24 have been fatal, most of them in Cambodia (14).

    From 2003 through to 10 December 2013, 648 laboratory-confirmed human cases with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection have been officially reported to WHO from 15 countries. Of these cases, 384 have died.

    In Cambodia, the reported incidence of human cases has increased in 2013 compared to previous years (26 cases in 2013 compared with 21 cases from 2005 through to December 2012). However, the case-fatality rate among reported cases has decreased (54% in 2013 compared with 90% over all previous years).

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    ECDC assessment

    During 2013, Cambodia has experienced a significant increase in the number of reported cases compared to previous years. Five of the most recently reported cases by WHO were children and had contact with poultry prior to falling ill. The increase in the number of cases is not linked with a clustering of cases or human-to-human transmission and the ECDC rapid risk assessment for influenza A(H5N1) remains valid. In addition, the case-fatality ratio has decreased in 2013, suggesting improved sensitivity of surveillance in Cambodia.

    Hong Kong reported the world's first outbreak of bird flu among humans in 1997, when six people died. Most human infections are the result of direct contact with infected birds, and countries with large poultry populations in close contact with humans are considered to be most at risk of bird flu outbreaks. ECDC follows the worldwide A(H5N1) situation through epidemic intelligence activities in order to identify significant changes in the epidemiology of the virus.

    ECDC re-assesses the potential of a changing risk for A(H5N1) to humans on a regular basis. There are currently no indications that there is any significant change in the epidemiology associated with any clade or strain of the A(H5N1) virus from a human health perspective. This assessment is based on the absence of sustained human-to-human transmission, and on the observation that there is no apparent change in the size of clusters or reports of chains of infection. However, vigilance for avian influenza in domestic poultry and wild birds in Europe remains important.


    Actions

    WHO is now reporting H5N1 cases on a monthly basis. ECDC will continue monthly reporting in the CDTR to coincide with WHO reporting.

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