Zika virus [to 4 February 2017]
Latest Report: now bi-weekly
Zika situation report – 2 February 2017
Full report: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/254507/1/zikasitrep2Feb17-eng.pdf?ua=1
:: Countries and territories reporting mosquito-borne Zika virus infections for the first time in the past two weeks: 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 two weeks: None
:: Countries and territories reporting Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) cases associated with Zika virus infection for the first time in the past two weeks: None
The next situation report will be published on Friday, 17 February and will include a new country classification scheme.
Overall, the global risk assessment has not changed. Zika virus continues to spread geographically to areas where competent vectors are present. Although a decline in cases of Zika infection has been reported in some countries, or in some parts of countries, vigilance needs to remain high.
Commentary – Zika: We must be ready for the long haul
Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO
1 February 2017
…In November 2016, I lifted the declaration of Zika as a public health emergency of international concern, again on the advice of the expert committee. That, too, was the right call. By then, research had addressed many of the questions that made the disease so “extraordinary” nine months earlier. Some uncertainties remain, but many fundamental questions have been answered.
In large parts of the world, the virus is now firmly entrenched. WHO and affected countries need to manage Zika not on an emergency footing, but in the same sustained way we respond to other established epidemic-prone pathogens, like dengue and chikungunya, that ebb and flow in recurring waves of infection. That is why WHO is creating a cross-Organizational mechanism to provide sustained guidance for effective interventions and support for families, communities, and countries experiencing Zika virus. For the research community, WHO has identified priority areas where more knowledge is urgently needed.
We are now in the long haul and we are all in this together. WHO’s strategic planning and commitment to work with partners for sustained interventions and research should go a long way towards bracing the world for this challenging – and still heart-breaking – effort.