WHO Zika Virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome Situation Report, 18 August 2016
Countries and territories reporting mosquito-borne Zika virus infections for the first time:
Countries and territories reporting microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection for the first time:
Honduras and Suriname
Countries and territories reporting Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) cases associated with Zika virus infection for the first time:
Costa Rica and Guatemala
Operational measures from the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region:
WHO will conduct Zika risk assessment missions including to Somalia
WHO is planning a training workshop on Incident Command System with partners in addition to a workshop to develop surveillance strategy and guidance for detection of Zika and other arboviral diseases, both for November 2016.
WHO is rolling out three training workshops on prevention and control of Aedes mosquitos for national entomologists from August to October
Overall, the global risk assessment has not changed.
Zika virus continues to spread geographically to areas where competent vectors are present.
Recent cases of Zika virus in Africa highlight the need to better understand the virology of the global outbreak.
Thus far, outbreaks of the Asian lineage of the Zika virus appear to be more associated with neurologic and congenital complications than historic cases of the African lineage; however, with few known cases of the African lineage, it is possible that such complications were simply never identified. Thus it remains crucial to sequence Zika isolates, particularly from cases in Africa, to understand whether there has indeed been a real shift in the clinical manifestations of Zika infection since the first identified outbreak in 2007.
Further entomologic (mosquito) studies should be prioritized in newly affected areas to understand transmission dynamics, inform localized risk assessments, and focus vector control interventions including providing appropriate health promotion messages.