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WHO Zika Virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome Situation Report, 27 October 2016



  • Countries and territories reporting mosquito-borne Zika virus infections for the first time in the past week:

o None

  • Countries and territories reporting microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection for the first time in the past week:

o None

  • Countries and territories reporting Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) cases associated with Zika virus infection for the first time in the past week:

o None

  • The Ministry of Health of Viet Nam reported a case of microcephaly, for which testing is underway to determine the cause.

  • The WHO Zika Virus Research Agenda has been published. The goal of the Agenda is to support the gathering of evidence to strengthen essential public health guidance to prevent and limit the impact of Zika virus and its complications. The Research Agenda identifies critical areas of research for which WHO is uniquely placed to implement and coordinate global action.

  • The quarterly update of the Zika Strategic Response Plan has been published This update provides key information on the epidemiological situation, response, and updated funding information for WHO and partners.


  • Overall, the global risk assessment has not changed.


  • Seventy-three countries and territories (Fig. 1, Table 1) have reported evidence of mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission since 2007 (67 with reports from 2015 onwards), of which:

o Fifty-six with a reported outbreak from 2015 onwards (Fig. 2, Table 1).

o Seven with having possible endemic transmission or evidence of local mosquitoborne Zika infections in 2016.

  • Solomon Islands was moved from category 3 last week. However, the Zika virus infection reported by Australia in a returning traveller was subsequently determined to be a probable case, rather than a confirmed case. Solomon Islands has therefore been moved back to category 3.

o Ten with evidence of local mosquito-borne Zika infections in or before 2015, but without documentation of cases in 2016, or with the outbreak terminated.

  • Solomon Islands has been reclassified back into this category.

  • Twelve countries have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission of Zika virus (Table 2).

  • Twenty-three countries or territories have reported microcephaly and other CNS malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection, or suggestive of congenital infection (Table 3).

  • Nineteen countries and territories have reported an increased incidence of GBS and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases (Table 4).

  • On 17 October 2016, the Ministry of Health of Viet Nam reported that a 4-month-old child had been diagnosed with microcephaly. Testing is being done to determine the potential cause of this microcephaly.

  • In Guinea-Bissau, five cases of microcephaly detected beginning in April 2016 are being investigated.

  • Operational updates:

o A national conference on Zika virus awareness is being organized from 27 to 28 October in Pattaya, Thailand.

o The Government of the Philippines is hosting the “One Philippines against Zika” national summit on 28 October. The objective is to improve awareness of Zika virus, disseminate guidelines, and promote collaboration and commitment among different stakeholders.

o A regional technical meeting on the current epidemiological situation in the Americas in relation to Zika and other arboviruses was held in Cuba from 20 to 21 October.

o A technical meeting on psychosocial support, rehabilitation, and clinical management of neurological complications related to Zika virus infection was held in Washington DC, United States of America, from 17 to 19 October.

o In Bolivia, Mosquito Awareness week is taking place from 24 to 28 October, under the leadership of the ministry of health and with support from WHO/ PAHO and partners.

o Also in Bolivia, an interagency meeting on progress in the response to Zika is planned for 1 November.