Weekly Bulletin on Outbreaks and other Emergencies: Week 39: 19 – 25 September 2022

This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African region. This week’s articles cover:

  • Ebola Virus Disease caused by Sudan virus in Uganda
  • Monkeypox in the WHO African Region
  • Acute Renal illness in the Gambia

For each of these events, a brief description, followed by public health measures implemented and an interpretation of the situation is provided.

A table is provided at the end of the bulletin with information on all new and ongoing public health events currently being monitored in the region, as well as recent events that have been controlled and closed.

Major issues and challenges include:

  • Uganda has reported an outbreak of Ebola virus disease caused by the Sudan virus, four years after the Country reported an ebola outbreak and ten years after reporting a similar strain. Although the country has developed an increased capacity to respond to Ebola disease outbreaks over recent years, the current extent of this outbreak is yet to be determined as it was detected almost three weeks later when the disease might have already spread and generated secondary or tertiary cases. There is also need for more resources as the country is concomitantly engaged in responding to multiple other emergencies. Moreover, in the absence of licensed vaccines and therapeutics for prevention and treatment of SVD, the risk of potential serious public health impact is direly high.
  • Two new monkeypox cases were reported in Africa in the past week compared to six in the previous week. Eleven countries have confirmed monkeypox outbreaks in Africa from January to August 2022. In the past week, one new case and two deaths were reported from a previously affected country (Cameroon) and one case from a newly affected country (Sudan). WHO AFRO is providing necessary support to improve surveillance and laboratory capacity, including genomic surveillance in affected countries.
  • The Gambia is experiencing an acute kidney injury (AKI) outbreak of unknown aetiology among children, identified at a Teaching Hospital since early August this year. Retrospective analysis of hospital records revealed additional cases, with the index case traced to 4 July 2022. Cases are reported from six out of seven health regions for the country. Stool samples from some cases tested positive for Escherichia Coli (E.coli) bacteria and toxicology investigations of two samples of medicines taken by children with AKI were found to contain ethylene glycol, and diethylene glycol plus ethylene glycol, respectively. Based on the available evidence, the event has been classified as acute kidney injury secondary to E. coli infection, compounded by toxins contained in medicines. However further epidemiological and laboratory investigation are urgently required to better identify the aetiology and contributory factors and therefore this is subject to change when more information becomes available.

Source: World Health Organization

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