OUTBREAK AND EMERGENCIES

 

ZIKA

 

To date, 52 countries and territories in the world have reported cases of Zika virus; 11 of these countries have reported local, person-to-person transmission of Zika virus disease, probably sexually transmitted. In the Americas Region, 49 countries have confirmed cases of Zika virus infection since 2015; of these, 46 countries report vector-borne transmission of Zika virus, and 5 countries report sexually transmitted Zika cases.

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 8 November, the Americas region has reported 494.784 suspected cases and 116.122 confirmed cases of Zika virus, since the beginning of the outbreak. (See Here).

 

Even though in the last weeks all countries in the Americas region report a downward trend in Zika virus cases (with the exception of Costa Rica), the spread of the virus continues in all countries, which is reflected in the imported cases reported in 56 territories worldwide; 33 of these reported outside of the American continent, and with a higher prevalence in Europe. Some areas of the United States and Cape Verde have reported local Zika virus infections (besides the imported cases), which shows the risk not only from the spread of the virus to other regions, even outside of the Americas, but also from its fast and easy transmission and its possible complications. In the United States, there is an increase in cases of local Zika virus transmission. The areas of Miami Dade, Palm Beach and Pinellas have reported 43 cases. (See Here).

 

In addition, the complications related to the Zika virus continue to appear with the spread of the infection; for instance, Spain reports two cases of congenital syndrome associated with Zika virus infection, the United States has reported 22 cases, and Canada, one case. To date, 1,950 cases of congenital syndrome have been reported in 15 countries in the Americas. Barbados, Guatemala and Nicaragua report suspected cases of congenital syndrome associated with Zika virus infection. (See Here).

 

Regarding neurological disorders associated with Zika virus, 17 countries report cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome; of these, 10 countries have reported an increase in Zika virus cases. Source: Uptade Zika in America, September 8 WHO-PAHO, CDC, Ministry of Health.

 

RELEVANT DATA IN AMERICA

 

MALARIA Malaria crisis in Venezuela: Lack of antimalarial medicines (See Here).

 

INFLUENZA (See Here)

 

Dominican Republic: During EW 34, the percent positivity for influenza increased to 33.3% with influenza predominating

 

Jamaica: During EW 34, SARI activity approached the average epidemic curve. No SARI-related deaths were reported this week

 

Chile: Influenza detections decreased but remained elevated in EW 34, with predominance of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09

 

MEASLES

 

Ottawa Public Health says that children who have not been vaccinated for the measles could be required to stay away from school for up to 3 weeks, if they have been in contact with the 3 recently diagnosed measles patients (See Here).

 

HEPATITIS A

 

Public Health officials in Nova Scotia are investigating a hepatitis A outbreak linked to 2 child care centres in the Halifax area. The province is offering free hepatitis A vaccines to people who may have come in contact with the virus. The source of infection is under investigation (See Here).

 

SCRUB TYPHUS

Scrub typhus is an acute febrile illness caused by orientia tsutsugamushi and manifested with fever, skin rash,myalgia and hepatitis. The spectrum of the clinical severity ranges from mild to severe with fatal complication such as meningoencephalitis, pneumonitis, miocarditis (See Here).

 

This decease common in southeast Asia and spread by microscopic biting mites known as chiggers, has been confirmed in a cluster of cases on a large island of Chile (Chiloé). See more (See Here).

 

LEISHMANIASIS

A report published in the Pan American Journal of Public Health about leishmaniasis in Misiones, Argentina, offers a series of recommendations for the surveillance and control of this disease, which affects more than 60.000 people in the Americas every year. (See Here).

 

CHOLERA

International Coalition expresses support for medium-term plan to fight Cholera in Haiti. The 2016-2018 plan calls for $178 million in investments to improve coordination, ensure rapid response to outbreaks, implement vaccination, water chlorination and improvements in sanitation (See Here).

 

SUICIDE

“Every year, about 65,000 people in the region-mostly men-take their own lives” PAHO. Last September 10 was the World Suicide Prevention Day, this year slogan was “Connect, Communicate. Care”. HERE you will find a new publication that brings together strategies for suicide prevention.

 

 

RECOMMENDED READING

 

Fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) regarding microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus (See Here).

 

Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus: a potential vector to transmit Zika virus (See Here).

 

Update: Interim Guidance for the Evaluation and Management of Infants with Possible Congenital Zika Virus Infection — United States, August 2016 (See Here).

 

 

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