Zika situation report
7 April 2016
Zika virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome
- From 1 January 2007 to 6 April 2016, Zika virus transmission was documented in a total of 62 countries and territories. Five of these (Cook Islands, French Polynesia, ISLA DE PASCUA – Chile, YAP (Federated States of Micronesia) and New Caledonia) reported a Zika virus outbreak that has terminated. Six countries have now reported locally acquired infection through sexual transmission (Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand and the United States of America). Viet Nam is the country to most recently report mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission.
- In the Region of the Americas, the geographical distribution of Zika virus has steadily widened since the presence of the virus was confirmed in 2015. Mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in 33 countries and territories of this region.
- From 2007, mosquito-borne Zika virus cases have been reported in 17 countries and areas of the Western Pacific Region.
- Microcephaly and other fetal malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection have been reported in Brazil (1046 cases), Cabo Verde (two cases), Colombia (seven cases), French Polynesia (eight cases), Martinique (three cases) and Panama (one case). Two additional cases, each linked to a stay in Brazil, were detected in the United States of America and Slovenia.
- In the context of Zika virus circulation, 13 countries or territories worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases.
- Based on a growing body of preliminary research, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
- The global prevention and control strategy launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Strategic Response Framework encompasses surveillance, response activities and research. This situation report is organized under those headings.