Top Infectious Disease Outbreaks of 2019

December 26, 2019

From Ebola to measles to Salmonella, these were the top 9 infectious disease outbreaks of 2019.

These were the top 9 infectious disease outbreaks of 2019.

#9: In July US health officials warned pet owners that contact with pig ear dog treats were linked to an outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella. The outbreak was declared over in October but led to 154 cases in total.

#8: Just ahead of Thanksgiving the CDC reported on a Salmonella outbreak linked to turkey. The outbreak could not be traced back to a single source, suggesting industry-wide contamination. In total, 365 outbreak-associated cases were confirmed, with 1 linked death.

#7: In August, the Department of Health in the Philippines announced that the nation’s dengue outbreak was declared a national epidemic after more than 162,000 cases and 622 associated deaths were reported in the first 7 months of 2019.

#6: A mystery outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes was investigated from August through November. A source of infections was not uncovered, but 24 cases and 2 deaths were recorded across 13 states.

#5: Several outbreaks of zoonotic Salmonella spread between animals and people were declared in 2019. Outbreaks were ultimately linked to pet turtles, pet hedgehogs, and backyard poultry.

#4: Eastern Equine Encephalitis returned to the United States again this year. According to the CDC, 37 cases of the mosquito-borne illness have been confirmed across 9 states, with 15 deaths recorded.

#3: Person-to-person Hepatitis A outbreaks remain widespread in the United States. Since the outbreaks were first identified in 2016, 30 states have documented more than 28,000 cases of the virus, with more than 280 outbreak-associated deaths.

#2: Ebola continues to be relentless in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The outbreak was first declared in August 2018 and has affected more than 3300 individuals and led to more than 2000 deaths.

And the top outbreak of the year?

Measles captured headlines this year as the vaccine-preventable disease made a large comeback both in the United States and abroad. The United States nearly lost its measles elimination status in October, after large outbreaks centered in New York City and State. A total of 1,261 cases of measles were confirmed in 2019 across 31 states, representing the highest number of cases since 1992. Cases in the United State have tapered off in the later part of 2019, but the disease captured the attention and funding of public health officials across the globe for much of the year.

Visit the Outbreak Monitor for more information on these outbreaks and more.