WHO Zika Virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome Situation Report, 19 May 2016
As of 18 May 2016, 60 countries and territories report continuing mosquito-borne transmission (Fig. 1) of which:
46 countries are experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015, with no previous evidence of circulation, and with ongoing transmission by mosquitos (Table 1).
14 countries reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, with ongoing transmission.
In addition, four countries or territories have reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, without ongoing transmission: Cook Islands, French Polynesia, ISLA DE PASCUA – Chile and YAP (Federated States of Micronesia).
Person-to-person transmission (Table 2):
Ten countries have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission of Zika virus, probably via a sexual route.
In the week to 18 May 2016, Argentina is the latest country to report mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission. Germany is the latest country to report person-to-person Zika virus transmission.
Microcephaly, and other fetal malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection, have been reported in eight countries or territories (Table 3). Puerto Rico is the latest territory to report a case of microcephaly associated with Zika virus.
Two cases of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities are currently under verification in Spain and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).
In the context of Zika virus circulation, 13 countries and territories worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases (Table 4). One GBS case associated with Zika virus infection in a returning traveller to the Netherlands has been reported.
Based on research to date, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and GBS.
The global prevention and control strategy launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Strategic Response Framework encompasses surveillance, response activities and research. Key interventions are being undertaken jointly by WHO and international, regional and national partners in response to this public health emergency (Table 5). A draft of the Strategic Response Framework for the second half of 2016 will be shared with partners mid-May and finalized by mid-June.
WHO has developed new advice and information on diverse topics in the context of Zika virus. WHO’s latest information materials, news and resources to support corporate and programmatic risk communication, and community engagement are available online.