ECDC gives weekly report on disease threats

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control released its Communicable Disease Threats Report on Tuesday.

The Communicable Disease Threats Report is a weekly bulletin that is aimed at health professionals who deal with communicable disease prevention. This week's report included two updates on outbreaks of hepatitis A and information regarding threats not directly affecting Europe, such as West Nile virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, dengue fever and new novel cyclovirus.

The report covered a recent hepatitis A outbreak among travelers who returned to Germany, Poland and Holland after visiting northern Italy. Italy recently experienced an increase in hepatitis A cases that is believed to be caused by contaminated frozen berries. The ECDC advised that travelers to receive a hepatitis A vaccination if visiting an area reporting a HAV outbreak.

Since October 2012, Hepatitis A cases that are suspected to be caused by frozen strawberries have been reported in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. A total of 104 cases have been reported related to this outbreak, and 59 of the 104 cases were confirmed. One new case of HAV was reported this week in Denmark.

MERS-COV currently has 81 laboratory confirmed cases that have resulted in 45 deaths, according to the ECDC report. Four new cases and two deaths were reported from July 5 to 11. MERS-COV is genetically distinct from the SARS coronavirus, and it is unclear how it is transmitted.