Emergencies preparedness, response

Microcephaly – Brazil

Disease Outbreak News
8 January 2016

On 4 January 2016, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Brazil provided PAHO/WHO with an epidemiological report regarding the increase of microcephaly cases in the country.

As of 2 January, 3,174 suspected cases of microcephaly, including 38 deaths, had been identified at the national level. The cases are distributed across 684 municipalities of 21 federal units. The Northeastern region continues to report the highest number of suspected cases.

WHO advice

Although investigations are ongoing to characterize the relation between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and the observed increase of microcephaly, information is being shared with Member States to raise awareness of the situation and to alert countries for similar events in their territories. For these reasons and to contribute to the knowledge of this event, PAHO/WHO urges Member States to report any increase of microcephaly or other neurological disorders in newborns that cannot be explained by known causes. Recommendations by PAHO/WHO are available in the Epidemiological Alert (see related links).