Zika In Columbia/Brazil thru Nov 6th
The Zika Virus – which up until a few years ago was an obscure mosquito-borne disease found only in remote areas of Africa – has been on the move for nearly a decade, first migrating to the South Pacific, and over the past few months into the Western Hemisphere (see WHO WER: Zika Virus Outbreaks In the Americas).
While not viewed as being as serious of an illness as Dengue, our experience with ZIKV is fairly limited
Last year we saw an unusual outbreak (along with with Dengue co-infection) resulting in a high number of neurological complications in the South Pacific (see Zika, Dengue & Unusual Rates Of Guillain Barre Syndrome In French Polynesia). While the exact link between ZIKAV (and/or Dengue) and GBS was undetermined, this region reported a 20-fold increase in the neurological disorder during their recent epidemic.
That said, most ZIKV cases only experience a mild fever, rash, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and non-purulent conjunctivitis lasting – on average – 2 to 7 days
Last month the WHO confirmed the presence of ZIKV in both Brazil and Columbia (see Zika virus infection – Brazil and Colombia), and today Suriname gets added to the list.
Disease Outbreak News
11 November 2015
On 2 November 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of Suriname notified PAHO/WHO of 2 autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection. Preliminary laboratory testing was conducted at the Academic Hospital Paramaribo. The investigation is ongoing and further information is pending.
Given the increased transmission of Zika virus in the Region of the Americas, PAHO/WHO recommends that its Member States establish and maintain the capacity to detect and confirm cases of Zika virus infection, prepare their health services for a potential additional burden at all levels of health care, and implement an effective public communications strategy to reduce the mosquitoes that transmit this disease, particularly in areas where this vector is present. The complete set of recommendations is available in the latest Epidemiological Update (see related links).
Given the abundance of competent mosquito vectors, and a general lack of immunity in the Americas, further spread of this vector-borne virus is considered likely.