How Big a Threat Will Zika Virus Be This Summer?
A while back, we gave you an update on the latest developments and information on the Zika virus. Since then, more information has been released, and it is especially relevant now that the virus has made its way to the US and as mosquito bites become more frequent due to summer weather.
The World Health Organization has released a new Zika Virus situation report dated June 2, 2016. Here is a summary from that report.
Recent Developments – What is Currently Known
- As of June 1 2016, 60 countries and territories report continuing mosquito-borne transmission of which:
- 46 countries are experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015, with no previous evidence of circulation, and with ongoing transmission by mosquitoes.
- 14 countries reported 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.
- In the week to 1 June 2016, no new country reported on mosquito-borne or person-to-person Zika virus transmission.
- As of 1 June 2016, microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection have been reported by eleven countries or territories. Three of those reported microcephaly borne from mothers with a recent travel history to Brazil (Slovenia, United States of America) and Colombia (Spain), for one additional case the precise country of travel in Latin America is not determined.
- Two cases of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities are currently under verification in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Costa Rica.
- In the context of Zika virus circulation, 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 a patient with a severe neurological condition (myelitis) in Guadeloupe.
- 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 precise implication of this finding is yet to be determined.
- Based on research to date, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and GBS.
- The global Strategic Response Framework launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2016 encompasses surveillance, response activities and research. An interim report2 has been published on some of the key activities being undertaken jointly by WHO and international, regional and national partners in response to this public health emergency. A revised strategy for the period July 2016 to December 2017 is currently being developed with partners and will be published in mid-June.
- WHO has developed new advice and information on diverse topics in the context of Zika virus. WHO’s latest information materials, news and resources to support corporate and programmatic risk communication, and community engagement are available online.
Zika Virus in the News…
Fox News Health May 31, 2016 First baby born with Zika-linked microcephaly in New York tri-state area
USA Today June 3, 2016 Military discloses at least 11 troops infected with Zika virus this year
ABC News June 3,2016 Zika Virus Test Took Weeks for Results, Infected Washington Teen Says
AccuWeather.com June 4, 2016 Zika virus in Europe: Experts warn not to underestimate threat as mosquitoes become active this summer
Daily Mail June 4, 2016 Rio Olympics may be cancelled over the Zika virus
Check out the following infographic for additional information for mosquito bite prevention this summer.
Mosquito prevention is more important than ever! Check out these articles to help you and your family stay protected this summer:
Online resources can keep you and your loved ones up to date with new developments regarding the Zika Virus. The World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are very informative. Check their websites daily for new information and developments on the Zika Virus.
Check out my previous article on the Zika Virus dated April 16, 2016.