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Tagged with: microcephaly

Zika virus 'spreading explosively,' WHO leader says

01/28/2016

(CNN)The Zika virus is "is now spreading explosively" in the Americas, the head of the World Health Organization said Thursday, with another official estimating between 3 million to 4 million infections in the region over a 12-month period.

"The level of concern is high, as is the level of uncertainty," Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general, told her organization's executive board members. "We need to get some answers quickly."

The Emerging Zika Pandemic: Enhancing Preparedness

01/27/2016

"The Zika virus (ZIKV), a flavivirus related to yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis, originated in the Zika forest in Uganda and was discovered in a rhesus monkey in 1947. The disease now has “explosive” pandemic potential, with outbreaks in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas.1 Since Brazil reported Zika virus in May 2015, infections have occurred in at least 20 countries in the Americas.2 Puerto Rico reported the first locally transmitted infection in December 2015, but Zika is likely to spread to the United States. The Aedes species mosquito (an aggressive daytime biter) that transmits Zika virus (as well as dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever) occurs worldwide, posing a high risk for global transmission. Modeling anticipates significant international spread by travelers from Brazil to the rest of the Americas, Europe, and Asia.3 What steps are required now to shore up preparedness in the Americas and worldwide?"

Citation: Lucey DR, Gostin LO. The Emerging Zika Pandemic: Enhancing Preparedness. JAMA.Published online January 27, 2016. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0904.

First Zika Virus Case in United States Confirmed in Texas

01/11/2016

Excerpt: "Zika virus, a mosquito-borne infection believed to cause microcephaly in infants born to infected mothers, has crossed from Latin America into Texas, experts reported today.  The case of Zika in a traveler recently returned from El Salvador was confirmed through investigations by Harris County, Texas, health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The case is expected to result in major new surveillance and vector-control initiatives."

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