ZIKA Virus Continues to Spread – August summary from ProMED


UntitledA report from ProMED, a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases http://www.isid.org gather the latest updates from WHO and PAHO and other global health partners.

In this update, there are new cases of microcephaly in Brasil and Puerto Rico. New evidence of transmission through mother to child, blood transfusion, sexual transmission (zika virus remains in the semen for several months) and platelet transfusion transmission.

The incidence and trends of Zika virus during the last few weeks is that 45 countries and territories have confirmed local, vector-borne transmission [that means people without travelling got the virus from infected people in the country where they live] of Zika virus disease in the Region of the Americas since 2015. In addition, 5 countries in the Americas [Argentina, Canada, Chile, Peru, and the United States of America] have reported sexually transmitted Zika cases.

Countries and territories in the Americas with confirmed autochthonous (vector- borne) Zika virus cases, 2015-2016: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Aruba; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bolivia ;Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba; Brazil; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; the Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Martinique; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Puerto Rico; Saint Barthélemy; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Maarten; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; the United States of America; the United States Virgin Islands; and Venezuela.

All countries where NPH works are highlighted and with Zika virus in the country. Testing is mostly done only for pregnant women. Others with high evidence of symptoms are treated to palliate the fever and pain and observe that there are no further complications.

All NPH homes are doing their best to keep the windows screens intact with no holes, fumigate more often than usual, provide repellent for all children and workers as well as health education on prevention of mosquito bites. Doctors and nurses are also on alert to detect early symptoms and do early intervention. Some NPH staff and children have presented with zika symptoms but there have been no confirmed cases by testing.

Mexico has presented a decreasing trend in confirmed Zika virus disease cases, while the United States of America has reported its 1st outbreak in an area of the Miami-Dade County in the state of Florida.

Avoiding mosquito bites:

  • Wearing clothes that completely cover the arms, legs, neck, and head (long sleeves,
    pants, and skirts, and a head covering).
  • Use natural repellents like citronella, neem oil, or basil leaf. Or use chemical repellents that have one of these ingredients: DEET, Picardin (KBR 3023, icaridin), PMD and other oil of lemon eucalyptus compounds, or IR3535. Repellents are especially important for children because they can prevent mosquito bites even when other preventive steps are not taken, but read the label carefully to make sure the product is safe for children. The label will also say how often to reapply. Usually repellent needs to be reapplied every few hours, but some last less time.
  • Use screens on windows and doors. Repair or patch any holes.
  • The moving air from a fan can keep mosquitoes away.
  • Use bed nets. Tuck the edges of the nets under the bed or sleeping mat so there are not open sides.
  • If pregnant do not travel to the countries with high incidence of Zika infected cases!!!

Dengue and Chikungunya are still around with more than 6,000 cases in El Salvador, 4,049 in Guatemala, 16,000 in Honduras, 41,000 in Mexico, 53,00 in Dominican Republic and 3,500 in Bolivia.

The list of countries and territories that have reported cases of congenital syndrome associated with Zika virus infection to PAHO/WHO, or those that have been published are: Brazil 1,806, Canada 1, Colombia 22, El Salvador 4, French Guiana 2, Martinique 8, Panama 5, Paraguay 2, Puerto Rico 1, and United States 21.


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