Epidemiological and emerging disease alerts in the Pacific region as of September 19, 2023 – World
Highlights/updates since the last map was posted on PacNet on September 12, 2023:
• Fiji: The Palifoto Medical District in Ba is experiencing an ongoing outbreak of diarrheal disease, with 2 to 4 new cases recorded daily and a total of 96 cases since 20 August.
The number of hospitalizations has decreased, but there are still 6 patients in hospital, and tests have confirmed the presence of Shigella sonnei, enteropathogenic E. coli, and the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Further specialist testing of patient samples will be carried out at a reference laboratory in Melbourne. A gray alert has been added to the map. – Source: Update: Diarrhea Outbreak in Balifuto – 18 September 2023, Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services website accessed on 19 September 2023.
• Federated States of Micronesia, Pohnpei State: Pohnpei state has seen a significant rise in diarrhea cases over the past four weeks, but the source remains undetermined. The EpiNet team is closely monitoring the situation, so a gray alert has been added to the map. – Source: Yap State Department of Health Services Infectious Disease Report, Week 37, accessed 19 September 2023.
• Federated States of Micronesia, Yap State: There has been a continuing increase in reported cases of influenza-like illness (ILI), above the established threshold for ILI, over the past 11 weeks. Recent laboratory results have identified cases of enterovirus/rhinovirus and influenza A subtype 2009 H1. Due to evidence of a multifactorial aetiology for this increase, a gray alert has been added to the map. – Source: Yap State Department of Health Services Infectious Disease Report, Week 37, accessed 19 September 2023.
• Australia: Commercial food operators are being warned to stop using M & J Chickens’ Easy Service Breast Fell Shredded Chicken due to its suspected link to a nationwide listeria outbreak across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. While a formal food recall is expected, businesses and individuals are being advised to stop using the product, and public hospitals in Queensland have been instructed not to use it. – Source: Queensland Health – Public Health Alert – Listeria detected in commercial food products on 18 September 2023, accessed on 19 September 2023.
• Solomon Islands: From 8 to 14 September, a total of 157 positive cases of malaria were recorded in Honiara. The top 5 hotspot communities are: Lau Valley, Kopito, Adaliwa, Banana Valley, and Tasahi Bay. – Source:
Government of the Solomon Islands, Department of Health and Medical Services – Honiara Malaria and Awareness Weekly as of 19 September 2023, accessed 19 September 2023
• Australia, Western Australia (WA): The Western Australian Department of Health issued a measles alert on 13 September 2023, following a confirmed case of measles in a traveler returning from Bali. – Source: Government of Western Australia, Department of Health – Statewide measles alert for Western Australia – 13 September 2023, accessed 19 September 2023
• Australia, New South Wales (NSW): As of 11 September 2023, new cases of monkeypox (mpox) have been reported in New South Wales. Vaccination, with specific criteria in place, is emphasized as an important measure for individuals to prevent smallpox, especially if they are traveling abroad or in contact with recent international arrivals. – Source: NSW Health – Mpox update accessed 19 September 2023
Next mass gathering event: 17th Pacific Games
• The largest collegiate sporting event in the Pacific is scheduled to launch in the Solomon Islands from 19 November to 2 December 2023. The two-week event will bring together up to 5,000 athletes in 24 sports, team officials and technical officials from 24 countries. Countries and territories. – Source: Solomon Islands Pacific Games 2023 website, accessed 19 September 2023.
Outside the Pacific:
Influenza A (H1N1)
• HollandThe Netherlands reported its first new case of swine influenza A(H1N1) (H1N1v) virus in 2023, with the case identified in North Brabant. This new strain differs from the pandemic/2009 H1N1 strain, which is now part of the seasonal viruses. Despite an unknown source of infection and no direct contact with pigs, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission, and the risk of community or international spread is widely assessed as low under the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005). ” – source:
WHO Disease Outbreak News – Influenza A (H1N1) virus – Netherlands, 13 September 2023, accessed 19 September 2023.