Zika virus [to 25 June 2016]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Zika situation report – 23 June 2016
Full report: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/246112/1/zikasitrep-23Jun2016-eng.pdf?ua=1
Summary [Initial text]
As of 22 June 2016, 61 countries and territories report continuing mosquito-borne transmission (Fig. 1) of which:
:: 47 countries are experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015, with no previous evidence of circulation, and with ongoing transmission by mosquitoes.
:: 14 countries reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, with ongoing transmission…
Zika Open [to 25 June 2016]
[Bulletin of the World Health Organization]
:: All papers available here
No new papers identified.
CDC/ACIP [to 25 June 2016]
MMWR, June 24, 2016 / Vol. 65 / No. 24
:: Screening of Blood Donations for Zika Virus Infection — Puerto Rico, April 3–June 11, 2016
:: Zika Virus Surveillance and Preparedness — New York City, 2015–2016
WHO European Region EURO
European countries agree to build on existing systems for rapid response to Zika virus
Countries in Europe need to build on existing systems for vector control, disease surveillance, laboratory testing and emergency risk communications in order to strengthen their preparedness and response to Zika virus, and prevent or contain quickly any outbreak in Europe.
This is the main conclusion reached at a meeting of 18 European countries at high or moderate likelihood of Zika virus transmission. Experts from these countries gathered in Lisbon, Portugal, during 22–24 June 2016 to participate in the WHO regional technical consultation on Zika virus for Europe.
The 80 participants with expertise in epidemiology, entomology, laboratory diagnosis and risk communications found the meeting timely and useful in preparing for a possible Zika virus outbreak. They discussed the experience in responding to Zika virus in Brazil and the Americas as well as in addressing previous vector-borne disease outbreaks in Europe.
They recommended that all four pillars of Zika virus response — vector control, disease surveillance, laboratory testing and emergency risk communications — are better integrated. Interventions should focus on:
:: preparing now and acting early;
:: selecting the most effective interventions in different scenarios of Zika virus transmission and related complications;
:: addressing vector-borne diseases as a whole; and
:: coordinating centrally and acting locally.
Countries called on WHO to support them with guidance, standards, templates and trainings in all pillars of Zika virus preparedness and response. They recommended that the Organization should facilitate sharing of information, expertise and best practice and provide support in case of a Zika virus outbreak.
NIH [to 25 June 2016]
June 21, 2016
NIH launches large study of pregnant women in areas affected by Zika virus
International effort to enroll approximately 10,000 women
The National Institutes of Health and Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz (Fiocruz), a national scientific research organization linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, have begun a multi-country study to evaluate the magnitude of health risks that Zika virus infection poses to pregnant women and their developing fetuses and infants. The study is opening in Puerto Rico and will expand to several locations in Brazil, Colombia and other areas that are experiencing active local transmission of the virus.
Zika virus is spread primarily through bites from infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, although other forms of transmission — notably, mother-to-child and sexual transmission — also occur. Active virus transmission currently is ongoing in 60 countries and territories. The virus has been linked to a spike in cases of microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and possible neurological damage, sparking international concern. In addition to microcephaly, other problems have been detected in pregnancies and among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, including miscarriage, stillbirth, absent or poorly developed brain structures, eye defects, hearing deficits, and impaired growth.
The Zika in Infants and Pregnancy (ZIP) study aims to enroll as many as 10,000 pregnant women ages 15 years and older at up to 15 sites. The participants will be in their first trimester of pregnancy and will be followed throughout their pregnancies to determine if they become infected with Zika virus and if so, what outcomes result for both mother and child. The participants’ infants will be carefully followed for at least one year after birth.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), all part of the NIH, are funding and conducting the study, along with Fiocruz.
“The full scope of the effect of Zika virus in pregnancy has not yet been fully determined,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “This large prospective study promises to provide important new data that will help guide the medical and public health responses to the Zika virus epidemic.”…
Wellcome Trust [to 25 June 2016]
News 23 June 2016
Dengue exposure may ‘amplify’ Zika infection
People who have previously been infected with the dengue virus may be more at risk from Zika.
Early-stage laboratory research, part-funded by Wellcome, suggests that the recent outbreak of Zika in South America may have been driven in part by the high prevalence of dengue in the region.
“We now need further studies to confirm these findings, and to progress towards a vaccine,” said senior author Professor Gavin Screaton from Imperial College London.
Researchers from the UK, France and Thailand found that antibodies the body makes against dengue can also react to the Zika virus.
But instead of clearing the Zika virus, the antibodies instead allow it to enter cells where it can quickly replicate. Higher levels of Zika in the blood may in turn lead to increased transmission of the virus.
This phenomenon, known as antibody-dependent enhancement, is seen also seen in dengue and is thought to explain why a second dengue infection is often more serious than the first.
Dengue and Zika are very similar viruses. They are members of the same virus ‘family’ – called flaviviridae – and both are transmitted by the Aedes mosquito.
The research results appear in two new studies published today in Nature and Nature Immunology. For more information, please read the Imperial College press release.