CDC Announces Sarcocystosis Outbreak in Malaysia

November 6, 2012, the CDC announced they had received reports from GeoSentinel1 of 55 cases of sarcocystosis that have been associated with 2012 summer travel to Tioman Island in Malaysia. Last year, 35 travelers returning from Tioman Island were similarly diagnosed with sarcocystosis.

What is Sarcocystosis?

According to the CDC:

“Sarcocystosis is a disease caused by a parasite called Sarcocystis. Sarcocystosis occurs in tropical or subtropical countries, including countries in Southeast Asia. This disease is common among wild and domestic animals but can also cause disease in humans. Two forms of the disease can occur: one causes diarrhea and the other causes muscle pain, fevers, and other symptoms. Muscle sarcocystosis is spread through the ingestion of food, water, or soil contaminated with infected animal feces. Many people infected with Sarcocystis may not have symptoms.

The travelers described in this notice returned from Malaysia with severe muscle pain. Other reported symptoms included mild diarrhea and fever. Most people were ill for 2-4 weeks after leaving the island.”

Learn more on the CDC website.

WHO: Yellow Fever in Sudan

According to the World Health Organization:

“The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) in Sudan has notified WHO of a yellow fever outbreak affecting 23 localities in Greater Darfur. As of 11 November 2012, a total of 329 suspected cases including 97 deaths were reported from this outbreak. Central and South Darfur have reported most of the suspected cases.

Laboratory confirmation was conducted by WHO regional reference laboratory for yellow fever, the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, on two samples which tested positive for yellow fever by IgM ELISA test and RT-PCR Differential diagnosis for other flavivirus was negative.

WHO is supporting the FMOH and other partners in the epidemiological investigation and response to the outbreak. Ongoing activities include strengthening of epidemiological surveillance, conducting entomological assessment and standardizing clinical case management. Community leaders are also being mobilized to support with raising awareness on yellow fever in the affected localities.

The government of Sudan has requested the International Coordinating Group on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision (YF-ICG) to provide support for a reactive mass vaccination campaign. The YF-ICG has approved of 2.4 million doses of vaccine, which is expected to arrive in the country shortly. Sudan, with support from WHO is expected to start the emergency mass vaccination campaign in the affected areas in order to protect the at risk populations and stop the spread of the disease.

The YF-ICG consists of representatives from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and WHO, which also serves as its Secretariat.”

CDC Announces Malaria Outbreak in Greece

According to the CDC:

“Cases of malaria continue to be reported in Greece. Some new cases have occurred in areas of Greece where malaria had not been previously reported. Cases of malaria have been reported from the Attica, Karditsa, Laconia, Viotia, and Xanthi regions of Greece. Cases have occurred in the cities of Evrotas, Marathon, Markopoulo, and Selino. No cases have been reported in Athens. The Hellenic (Greek) CDC and the European CDC are improving surveillance for malaria cases. In affected areas, mosquito control has been intensified, health care providers have been educated, and the public has been informed.”

Visit the CDC Website to Learn More

CDC Releases Latest Atlas of Health and Climate Report

The Atlas of health and climate is a product of this unique collaboration between the meteorological and public health communities. It provides sound scientific information on the connections between weather and climate and major health challenges. These range from diseases of poverty to emergencies arising from extreme weather events and disease outbreaks. They also include environmental degradation, the increasing prevalence of noncommunicable diseases and the universal trend of demographic ageing.

Learn more about and read the report

WHO: Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo – update

According to the World Health Organization:

“As of 24 October 2012, 52 cases (35 laboratory confirmed, 17 probable) with Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Of these, 25 have been fatal (12 confirmed, 13 probable).

The cases are reported from Isiro and Viadana health zones in Haut-Uélé district in Province Orientale.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) continues to work with local health authorities and international partners in active surveillance, tracing of contacts of probable and confirmed cases, infection prevention and control in health care settings, management of patients in health care facilities, logistics, social mobilization, provision of psychosocial support and conducting anthropological analysis to support the control of the outbreak.

Surveillance activities are being strengthened in Isiro and neighbouring areas, including Bedhe and Nakwapongo. In Isiro, health care workers are being trained on basic infection prevention and control in health care settings. Through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), a field laboratory has been set up by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Social mobilization activities are being carried out in schools and churches in Isiro, Rungu and Ngosaku to provide information on protection against the Ebola virus and to discuss concerns of the local population.”