Paula Laboissière reports from Agência Brasil
Approximately 20.7 million buildings—among them public, commercial, and industrial buildings, as well as homes—have been inspected as part of an effort to combat the Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus, as well as dengue and chikungunya fever. The number accounts for more than 30 percent of the 76 million buildings to be examined.
Paulo Victor Chagas reports from Agência Brasil
Brazil's government announced a $1.3 million donation for humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict in Syria. The money will be channeled to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The pledge was announced Thursday (Feb. 4) by Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira during the Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London.
Isabela Vieira reports from Agência Brasil
The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) confirmed Friday (Feb. 5) the presence of the Zika virus, potentially capable of causing infection, in samples of saliva and urine. Fiocruz President Paulo Gadelha says the new forms of transmission will be further studied from now on.
“This confirmation is of great significance as it changes the way we conduct research as well as its level,” he reported.
An Emergency Committee was convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) on 1 February 2016. Following the advice of the Committee, the Director-General announced the recent cluster of microcephaly and other neurologic disorders reported in Brazil to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
This document outlines the strategy of the Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) for the enhancement of technical cooperation to Member States in light of the rapid regional dissemination of Zika virus since November 2015. This technical cooperation builds on ongoing efforts to strengthen the detection, prevention, and response to arboviral illnesses.
The Zika virus epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean is most affecting Brazil, with over one million cases estimated. Colombia reports over 18,000 confirmed and 2,000 suspected cases and anticipates over 650,000. El Salvador reports over 6,000 suspected cases. Venezuela reports over 4,500 confirmed cases, however unofficial estimates are thought to be as high as 400,000 (AFP 30/01/2016; AFP 01/02/2016; AP 29/01/2016).
GENEVA (5 February 2016) – Upholding women’s human rights is essential if the response to the Zika health emergency is to be effective, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Friday, adding that laws and policies that restrict access to sexual and reproductive health services in contravention of international standards, must be repealed and concrete steps must be taken so that women have the information, support and services they require to exercise their rights to determine whether and when they become pregnant.
Switzerland - IOM Director General William Lacy Swing has called on governments to include migrants and mobile populations in Zika Virus preparedness and response plans.
They can do this by providing equitable access to culturally sensitive risk communication, notably for pregnant women, coverage of vector control and personal protective measures and inclusion in country surveillance measures, he said.
Mariana Branco reports from Agência Brasil
The Brazilian Education Pact against Zika was signed Thursday by Education Minister Aloizio Mercadante, and representatives from the National Committee of Education Secretaries, the Municipal Education Directors Union and student organizations, in addition to universities, professional educational institutions, and public and private schools.
Eliminar a los mosquitos requiere la acción de los gobiernos, del sector privado, de personas, familias y comunidades. La OPS busca reunir US$ 8,5 millones de la comunidad internacional para apoyar la cooperación técnica que brinda a los países de la región.
La Ministra de Salud, Carmen Castillo, concluyó su participación en la II Reunión Extraordinaria de Ministros de Salud de MERCOSUR y Estados Asociados, realizada a objeto de enfrentar la epidemia de los virus transmitidos por el vector Aedes aegypti.
Al término del encuentro, las Ministras y los Ministros de Salud del MERCOSUR y Estados Asociados, y los demás países integrantes de la CELAC (Costa Rica, México y República Dominicana), concordaron la siguiente declaración:
Eliminating mosquitoes requires action by governments, businesses, individuals, families and communities. PAHO is requesting $8.5 million from the international community to support its technical cooperation with member countries.
Panama / Ginebra, 2 Febrero 2016 - La Federación Internacional de Sociedades de la Cruz Roja y de la Media Luna Roja (FICR) ha lanzado un llamamiento de emergencia por dos millones cuatrocientos mil francos suizos (aproximadamente dos millones trescientos mil dólares americanos) para apoyar la respuesta regional a la epidemia del virus del Zika en las Américas.
AT LEAST 2297 JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA STAFF HAVE BEEN KILLED SINCE 1990 : IFJ REPORT
The International Federation of Journalists today published its 25th report on journalists and media staff killed since 1990. The report lists 2297 media fatalities due to violence in journalism, including 112 killed in 2015 alone. From double digits at the start of these publications, the figures reached three digits in eleven years, peaking to 155 killings of journalists and media staff in 2006, the deadliest year on record, according to the IFJ reports.
Mariana Tokarnia reports from Agência Brasil
The Ministry of Health confirmed there are 404 cases of microcephaly or other central nervous system disorders in Brazil, out of which 17 are related to Zika virus. A total of 709 suspected cases have been ruled out. The ministry and the state health departments are still investigating 3,670 potential cases of the condition across the country. The figure applies to cases reported by January 30.
NUEVA YORK/PANAMÁ/GINEBRA, 2 de febrero 2016 - UNICEF está trabajando con los gobiernos para movilizar a las comunidades en su protección contra el virus del Zika, que se ha convertido en una emergencia de salud pública que afecta a más de 20 países en Latinoamérica y el Caribe.
A Zika virus outbreak in the Americas and the South Pacific is evolving rapidly, and its spread is likely to continue as the vector species Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are widely distributed there. While a significant increase in the number of newborns presenting with a low head circumference seems established in the northeastern states of Brazil, the magnitude of the increase cannot be precisely estimated. Similarly, a link with Zika virus infection cannot be confirmed until the ongoing investigations are completed.