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WHO Zika Virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome Situation Report, 3 November 2016

Situation Report
Originally published



  • 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 Bolivia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Viet Nam

  • 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 and Sport of Myanmar reported a confirmed case of Zika virus.
    The case is under investigation as to determine if this is an autochthonous (locallyacquired) or imported case.


  • Overall, the global risk assessment has not changed since last week.

  • Viet Nam is the second county in South-East Asia to report microcephaly cases potentially linked with Zika virus. This follows the two microcephaly cases reported in Thailand in the 6 October Zika situation report. Similar to the cases reported in Thailand, genetic sequencing of the virus was not possible therefore it is not known whether the mother was infected with a virus related to the same lineage as previously isolated in South-East Asia, or if there has instead been transmission of a virus imported from another location. The mother of the baby with microcephaly reported in Viet Nam had no history of travel outside of the country. To date, there have been no imported Zika virus cases reported in Viet Nam.


  • 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.

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.

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

  • Twenty-six countries or territories have reported microcephaly and other CNS malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection, or suggestive of congenital infection (Table 3). Bolivia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Viet Nam are the latest countries to report microcephaly potentially associated with Zika virus infection.

  • 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). Guatemala, which has previously reported GBS cases with confirmed Zika virus infections, has reported an increase in incidence of GBS cases in the last week.

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

  • PAHO, the WHO Regional Office for the Americas, and partners coordinated the following: a laboratory workshop and training in serology for Zika diagnosis for participants from eight different countries organized by PAHO Regional Office and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the PAHO/World Health Organization Representative office in Peru (PWR-PER) and WHO (October 2016, National Health Institute, Ministry of Health, Peru), a technical meeting with the Ministry of Health and World Vision for the incorporation of knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) survey results (October 2016 in Guatemala), a technical meeting to review KAP survey results carried out by the Secretary of Health (October 2016 in Honduras), focus groups were established in the Dominican Republic as part of operational research to determine individual barriers for preventing Zika and vector control in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment (October 2016), and mosquito awareness week was held in Argentina and Colombia (October 2016). Activities in Colombia included training for women community leaders, a workshop for faith-based organisations, a clinical symposium, a presentation of case studies, a workshop for tourist sector on prevention measures and a lessons learned session with local and federal health authorities.

  • The following activities are planned by PAHO and partners: a molecular biology workshop on Zika virus and other arboviruses diagnosis is planned (December 2016 in Brazil), a risk communication workshop (November 2016 in Suriname), a meeting to develop guidelines to support first-care level directives (November 2016), and a meeting to analyse mortality causes in GBS cases (November 2016 in Dominican Republic).

  • The WHO Regional Office for Europe and partners are organizing the following: a training on mosquito identification (October 2016 in Armenia), a workshop on invasive mosquitoes and remerging vector-borne disease in the region (November 2016 in Croatia), a joint WHO, CDC and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) meeting on the country classifications and data sharing (December 2016 in Denmark), and an expert consultation for developing guidance for vector control for ships (December 2016 in France).

  • The WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia and partners held a workshop on Zika prevention and control in Thailand (October 2016) and are planning a workshop on strategic planning for mitigating the risk of Zika virus in India (November 2016).

  • The WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and partners are planning the following: a consultative workshop to define the region’s Zika surveillance strategy (November 2016 in Pakistan), training workshops on the diagnosis of Zika virus (November 2016 and January 2017 in Jordan), a training on the incident management system for managing public health emergencies including Zika virus (January 2017 in Tunisia), and an interagency meeting regarding all hazards preparedness with a focus on Zika (2017).