WHO Zika outbreak situation reportZika virus, microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome

In the 22nd June WHO report, 61 countries and territories have reported continuing mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus. This number is made up of 47 countries who are experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015, with no previous evidence of circulation, and with ongoing transmission by mosquitoes. 14 countries report evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, with ongoing transmission.

In addition, four countries or territories have reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, without ongoing transmission: Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Isla de Pascua – Chile and Yap (Federated States of Micronesia).

Ten countries have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission of Zika virus, probably via a sexual route.

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported one, laboratory-acquired case of Zika virus infection.

As of 22nd June 2016, Anguilla is the latest territory to report mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission. Microcephaly and other central nervous system malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection have been reported by 12 countries or territories. Three of those reported microcephaly cases borne from mothers with a recent travel history to Brazil (from Slovenia and United States of America), Venezuela and Colombia (from Spain), for one additional case the precise country of infection is not determined (as the case travelled to three known affected countries in Latin America).

As far as the circulation of the Zika virus is concerned, WHO reports that 13 countries and territories worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases.

Zika infection was diagnosed in four patients with a severe neurological condition in Guadeloupe.

Based on research to date, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and GBS.

Sequencing of the virus that causes the Zika outbreak in Cabo Verde showed that the virus is of the Asian lineage and the same as the one that circulates in Brazil.

The third meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) regarding microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus was held on 14th June 2016.

The global Strategic Response Framework launched by the WHO in February 2016 encompasses surveillance, response activities and research. An interim report has been published on some of the key activities being undertaken jointly by the WHO and international, regional and national partners in response to this public health emergency. A revised strategy for the period of July 2016 to December 2017 was published on 17th June.

The WHO has developed new advice and information on diverse topics in the context of Zika virus. The WHO’s latest information materials, news and resources to support corporate and programmatic risk communication, and community engagement are available online.

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