On 25 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the United States of America notified PAHO/WHO of the first laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus infection in St. Croix, one of the three main islands in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI).
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.
This Emergency Appeal seeks a total of 2,380,409 Swiss francs (CHF) to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the National Societies in the Americas region to deliver assistance and support to 200,000 people through direct intervention and 1 million people through indirect community engagement, with a focus on health, water, sanitation, hygiene promotion and preparedness. This regional Emergency Appeal is launched on a preliminary basis pending further assessment and revision in the coming weeks.
The ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) is a weekly bulletin for epidemiologists and health professionals on active public health threats. This issue covers the period 24-30 January 2016 and includes updates on Zika virus, Ebola virus disease and MERS.
• Zika virus is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis.
• Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days. The disease has similar clinical signs to dengue, and may be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common. There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
Message: Dominica: CDEMA CU continues to coordinate the Regional Response Mechanism to moblise support to Dominica.
• Tropical Storm ERIKA moved through Lesser Antilles on 27 August, causing heavy rainfall. Dominica was especially affected by floods and landslides. As of 28 August, there were five dead, 21 missing and several homes destroyed. Afterwards it started moving over the Caribbean Sea towards the Dominican Republic, as a Tropical Storm. On 28 August afternoon (UTC), it is approaching the south-eastern coast. At 12.00 UTC its center was located approx. 50 km southeast of Saona Island and it had max. sustained winds of 85 km/h.
Message: Dominica: Evacuation of residents of Petit Savanne. Prime Minister declared nine 9 Special Disaster Areas.