Identifying hotspots of viral haemorrhagic fevers in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: perspectives for the Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network



Altmann M, Nahapetyan K, Asghar H.


East Mediterr Health J. 2019 Jan 23;24(11):1049-1057. doi: 10.26719/emhj.18.002.


BACKGROUND: The emergence and re-emergence of viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) is a growing concern worldwide. They are associated with major epidemics with an estimated 51-101 million cases each year, of which around 67 000 are fatal. In 2007, 13 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region reported VHF cases. AIMS: The main purpose of the study was to review the epidemiological situation in the Region vis-à-vis VHFs to obtain baseline epidemiological information for the establishment of the Emerging Dangerous Pathogen Laboratory Network (EDPLN). METHODS: A literature search was performed using PubMed, ProMED-Mail and GIDEON databases. Reported data included disease burden (reported cases and deaths), human prevalence (general population, high-risk groups), vectors and reservoirs. A scoring method was employed to divide countries into 4 groups (very highly, highly, medium and low affected countries). RESULTS: Very highly affected countries were Afghanistan, Egypt, Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Highly affected countries were Djibouti, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Tunisia and Yemen. Medium affected countries were Iraq, Somalia and United Arab Emirates. Low affected countries were Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Qatar and Syrian Arab Republic. CONCLUSIONS: This study contributes in prioritizing countries to be part of EDPLN and in addressing specific needs related to outbreak investigations, surveillance and research. CI – Copyright © World Health Organization (WHO) 2018. Some rights reserved. This work is available under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO license (

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Link/DOI: 10.26719/emhj.18.002