Zika situation report
31 March 2016
Zika virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome
- From 1 January 2007 to 30 March 2016, Zika virus transmission was documented in a total of 61 countries and territories. Four of these (Cook Islands, French Polynesia, ISLA DE PASCUA – Chile, and New Caledonia) reported a Zika virus outbreak that is now over. Six countries have now reported locally acquired infection in the absence of any known mosquito vectors, probably through sexual transmission (Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand and the United States of America).
- 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.
- In the Western Pacific Region, mosquito-borne Zika virus cases have been reported in 16 countries and areas.
- Microcephaly and other fetal malformations have been reported in Brazil (944 cases), Cabo Verde (two cases), Colombia (32 cases), French Polynesia (eight cases), Martinique (one case) and Panama (one case). Two additional cases, 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 have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases.
- Based on observational, cohort and case-control studies there is strong scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of GBS, microcephaly and other neurological disorders.
- 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.