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World Updates

Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus – Lao People’s Democratic Republic

On 17 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point (NFP) of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) notified WHO of 2 additional cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (VDPV1). Both cases are from Longsane district, Xaisomboun Province. The first new case is a 14-month-old male from Longsane district, Xaisomboun Province. He developed fever on 16 November, progressing to hyporeflexia and asymmetric paralysis in both legs by 18 November. Local health authorities reported the AFP case on 19 November.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Thailand

On 24 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Thailand notified WHO of 1 laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. This is the country’s second case of MERS-CoV infection (see DON published on 10 July 2015). The case is a 71-year-old Omani national who arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on 22 January. The patient travelled to Thailand to seek medical care. Once in Bangkok, the patient was admitted to hospital. On 23 January, he tested positive for MERS-CoV.

Lassa Fever – Nigeria

The National IHR Focal Point of Nigeria has notified WHO of different outbreaks of Lassa fever occurring in the country. Between August 2015 and 23 January 2016, 159 suspected cases of Lassa fever, including 82 deaths, were reported across 19 states. Investigations are ongoing and a retrospective review of cases is currently being performed; therefore, these figures are subject to change.

Zika virus infection – Dominican Republic

On 23 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the Dominican Republic notified PAHO/WHO of 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus infection. Of the 10 cases, 8 are locally-acquired and 2 imported from El Salvador. The cases are from Distrito Nacional, and the municipalities of Santo Domingo Norte, Jimani-Independencia and Santa Cruz-Barahona. While 8 of the 10 cases are aged 15 to 57 years old, the remaining 2 cases are children under five years old. Onset of symptoms ranges from 3 to 18 January.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 27 December 2015 and 13 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 4 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1,630 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 586 related deaths.

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