This week in the World Health Minute we are focussing on outbreaks.

The World Health Minute TNM Bulletin on health news from across the world
news Health Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 15:48

The News Minute brings you a weekly round-up of stories on public health from around the world. This week in the World Health Minute we are focussing on outbreaks. We are doing this as an experiment towards our endeavour in contributing to public health reporting. Tell us what you think.


Burundi facing a malaria epidemic with many dead since start of year, Rwanda sees rise too

Burundi’s Health Minister said ‘more than 3,700 people have died since the end of 2016. There has been a 13% increase in cases related to malaria. The situation is further compounded by climate change and prolonged drought leading to people going without food.’ Deutsche Welle also added that malaria has increased in Rwanda, with nearly 700,000 cases nationwide registered up to last November. (The East African:13/03/17) ( 13/03/17) (Deutsche Welle: 15/03/17) ( 14/03/17) ( 14/03/17)( 14/03/17) ( 14/03/17)


Mozambique cholera outbreak spreading, more than 1,200 people infected

‘A cholera outbreak in parts of Mozambique has infected more than 1,200 people, killing two this month, since the recent heavy rains, and the disease will spread further if no action is taken,’ health ministry officials said. (Reuters: 14/03/17) (Le Figaro: 14/03/17) ( 13/03/17) ( 14/03/17) ( 14/03/17)


Namibia says 14 have died of malaria while over 7,000 are affected

More than 7,000 cases of malaria have been reported in northern regions of Namibia, so far this year. The Kavango, Zambesi and Ohangwena regions are most affected. ( 15/03/17) ( 14/03/17) (The Live 14/03/17)


Cholera hits Malawi in areas close to Mozambique – Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health said ‘it has received reports of a cholera outbreak in Mozambican communities neighbouring Malawi’ in places such as as Moatize in Tete, which is popular for cross-border shopping and business’. ( 13/03/17) ( 13/03/17) ( 13/03/17) ( 14/03/17)


Botswana is witnessing a rising number of malaria cases – Ministry of Health

The Botswana Health ministry said ‘the country is experiencing a high level of malaria transmission following recent heavy rains. There has been an increase in the number of malaria cases in areas such as Okavango, Ngami and Gantsi’. ( 14/03/17) ( 15/03/17) ( 09/03/17)  


Investigation ordered into polio case in Gilgit-Baltistan

The Express Tribune Pakistan reported that a toddler in Gilgit-Baltistan who contracted polio, had received at least two routine doses of the vaccine prior to doing so, according to medical experts and the patient’s family. An investigation is underway as there ‘may have been some mishandling of the vaccine during transportation’, experts speculated. (Express Tribune: 15/03/17) ( 15/03/17)  ( 15/03/17) (Pakistan Today: 14/03/17) (Daily Times: 12/03/17) (Pakistan Today: 14/03/17)


H7N9 virus has caused 161 deaths in China since last October with 61 fatalities

China confirmed a bird flu outbreak, the sixth case in China since last October, at a duck farm in central Hubei province, according to a Ministry of Agriculture statement. The H7N9 strain of the virus has caused 161 deaths in China since last October. There were 61 fatalities and 160 cases of human infection from H7H9 bird flu up to February, a government spokesperson added. (Reuters: 14/03/17) (Shanghai Daily: 15/03/17) ( 15/03/17)


Kelantan in Malaysia declares a state disaster as H5N1 outbreak spreads

The H5N1 avian flu outbreak in Kelantan has spread to two more districts, Pasir Putih and Bachok besides Kota Baru and Pasir Mas, the new villages affected are in Bachok. The media said ‘this is the first avian influenza outbreak in ten years,’ with some speculating ‘ it may have spread via illegal cock fighting’. (New Straits Times: 15/03/17) ( 15/03/17) ( 15/03/17) ( 14/03/17) (malaymailonline: 15/03/17) ( 14/03/17)


Maldives records a sudden rise in H1N1 patients – health authorities positive they can control outbreak

At least 51 people have been confirmed with the H1N1 flu virus in the Maldives, in the past few weeks, with one patient dying of the flu. Last Tuesday alone, 473 people were treated with flu-like symptoms. ( 15/03/17) (miadhu.nv: 14/03/17) ( 14/03/17)


Nepal reports H5N8 bird flu outbreak on farm in Koshi region

Nepal reported an outbreak of severe H5N8 bird flu on a poultry farm in the Koshi region OIE said, citing a report from Nepalese authorities. The virus killed 3,650 of the hens exposed, with the remaining animals culled. There was an earlier Nepalese outbreak of H5N1 last month, previously reported. (Reuters: 13/03/17) ( 14/03/17) ( 15/03/17)  


Rio Preto health authorities are worried about rising dengue cases and leishmaniasis

In Brazil, the Rio Preto Health Department reported that two serious diseases are worrying health officials: dengue fever and leishmaniasis. This year alone, authorities have seen 100 confirmed cases of dengue and a further 308 are under investigation. There have been five dogs diagnosed with leishmaniasis so far and no humans. Officials speculate that mosquitoes may be breeding in closed houses or those up for sale or lease. ( 13/03/17)


Dengue shuts doors of sixty-six schools in Kinnya, Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, 66 schools in the Kinniya area have been temporarily closed for three days by health authorities, due to a dengue threat. Twelve school children died after contracting dengue while a further 37 are undergoing more treatment. Across Sri Lanka, there has been a significant rise in the number of dengue cases reported during the first ten weeks of 2017, with the number exceeding 20,000. ( 15/03/17) ( 15/03/17) ( 15/03/17)


Rivers State in Nigeria laments hidden epidemic of TB

Rivers State had an estimated 23,199 cases of tuberculosis during 2015, according to health authorities. In that year, no more than about 10% of all of these cases were detected officially, meaning there are huge numbers of cases hidden in communities. The main concerns held by health experts are; low community awareness of the disease, non-adherence to treatment leading to drug resistance and the poor approach of some health workers tasked with TB control. ( 15/03/17)


Tuberculosis is rising in the Davao Region

The DOH-Davao region in the Philippines say they have seen a sharp rise in tuberculosis cases in the area and this is worrying the health department. Around 100 people died from TB last year, with Davao City posting the most cases. The official incomplete data for 2016 is already showing 12,000 cases and health authorities said they were intensifying their information programme to avoid the disease being driven underground. (Sun Star Philippines: 15/03/17) (Sun Star Philippines: 15/03/17)


Groundwork being prepared for GM modified mosquito release in Africa

In Burkina Faso, Mali and Uganda, the groundwork is being laid for a powerful kind of experiment. A project is underway to release mosquitoes that have been genetically programmed to drive themselves and their malaria-producing brethren towards extinction. (Technology Review: 14/03/17) ( 15/03/17) ( 14/03/17)


Bird flu spreads in Vietnam striking two more provinces

Strains of bird flu have been detected in a chicken breeder flock in the northern province of Bac Ninh and the birds are to be culled, to prevent the virus from entering the food chain. ( 13/03/17)

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