Emergencies

Zika situation report

12 February 2016

Zika and potential complications

Summary

  • WHO has called for a coordinated and multisectoral response through an inter-agency Strategic Response Framework focusing on response, surveillance and research.
  • 39 countries have reported locally acquired circulation of the virus since January 2007. Geographical distribution of the virus has steadily expanded.
  • Six countries (Brazil, French Polynesia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia and Suriname) have reported an increase in the incidence of cases of microcephaly and/or Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in conjunction with an outbreak of the Zika virus. Puerto Rico and Martinique have reported cases of GBS associated with Zika virus infection without an increase of incidence. No scientific evidence to date confirms a link between Zika virus and microcephaly or GBS.
  • Women’s reproductive health has been thrust into the limelight with the spread of the Zika virus. The latest evidence suggests that Zika virus infection during pregnancy may be linked to microcephaly in newborn babies.
  • WHO advice on travel to Zika-affected countries includes advice for pregnant women as well as women who are trying to become pregnant and their sexual partners.

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