India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and mainland China also experienced new outbreaks of H5 N1 influenza in December. During the same period, four new human cases - in Egypt, Cambodia and Indonesia - were reported to the World Health Organization. A 16-year-old girl in Egypt and a 2-year-old girl in Indonesia have died.
HMPV infection incidence ranged from 2.2% to 10.5% in outpatient cohorts. Infections were asymptomatic in at least 38.8% of each of these cases. Symptoms when apparent were typical of upper respiratory tract infection.
The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo has declared an outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever. As of 26 December, WHO is aware of 34 suspected cases including 9 deaths associated with the ongoing event.
In the UK 164 people have died of variant CJD, which originally came from cows infected with BSE, and all cases to date shared the same version of the prion gene (MM). A new case has a different varian tof the gene (MV). Estimates are that up to 350 people could be affected in this new wave.
Researchers have have discovered a distinctive chemical signature for placental and cerebral malaria which kill hundreds of thousands of young children a year, giving the option of earlier,or more intense treatment in those who need it.
Increased routine measles vaccine coverage implemented during 2000-2007 resulted in a 74% decrease in the estimated number of measles deaths globally. An estimated 197 000 deaths from measles occurred in 2007.