ECDC has published Epidemiological update: Outbreaks of Zika virus and complications potentially link to the Zika virus infection. This is as always an excellent overview of the situation. Excerpt:
On 1 February 2016, following the first meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the Director-General under the IHR 2005 regarding clusters of microcephaly cases and other neurologic disorders in some areas affected by Zika virus, WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
The Committee advised that surveillance for microcephaly and Guillan–Barré syndrome (GBS) should be standardised and enhanced, particularly in areas of known Zika virus transmission and areas at risk of such transmission. Research into the aetiology of new clusters of microcephaly and neurologic disorders should be intensified to determine whether there is a causative link to Zika virus and/or other factors or co-factors.
As a precautionary measure, the Committee provided a list of additional recommendations regarding Zika virus transmission, travel, data sharing and longer-term measures to consider. The full statement about the PHEIC and temporary recommendations can be accessed on WHO’s website.
The Zika virus epidemic continues to spread in the Americas. Since last week, five additional countries or territories have reported laboratory-confirmed autochthonous transmission in the past two months: American Samoa, Samoa, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Tonga.
In addition, in the USA on 2 February, Dallas County Health and Human Services received confirmation from the US CDC of a Zika virus case acquired through sexual transmission in Dallas County in 2016. The patient was infected after having had sexual contact with an ill person who returned from a country affected by the Zika epidemic.
On 3 February 2016, according to local health authorities in Brazil, transmission of Zika virus through blood transfusion occurred in Sao Paulo state in early 2015.
As of 4 February 2016, autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection have been reported from 31 countries or territories worldwide in the past two months (see Table 1 and Figure 1).
In addition, as of 4 February 2016, 36 countries or territories have reported autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection in the past nine months (see Table 1 and Figure 2):