At first glance the numbers presented today by the Brazilian MOH are a bit confusing, as they highlight they are now investigating 3,448 Microcephaly cases, seemingly a reduction from last week's 3893 Suspected Microcephaly Cases Under Investigation.
All becomes clear when you look at the chart above, which shows that 270 cases are now confirmed - and removed from that number - and 462 cases have been discarded.
Today's report actually adds 287 suspected cases since last week's report, but after you deduct the discarded and confirmed cases, you end up with 3,448. All totaled, the number of cases that have been investigated in 2015-16 is 4,120.
The MOH summary (the full Epi report has not yet been posted) follows:
Apart from the cases that remain under investigation, the ther 270 have had confirmation of the disease and 462 were classified as discarded
Ministry of Health investigates 3,448 suspected cases of microcephaly
The Ministry of Health investigates 3,448 suspected cases of microcephaly across the country. The new report released on Wednesday (27) also points out that 270 cases have had microcephaly confirmation, and 6 with respect to the Zika virus. Other 462 reported cases have been discarded. In all, 4,180 suspected cases of microcephaly were recorded until 23 January.
"Regarding the report released on January 20, there appears a tendency to reduce the number of notifications. The increase identified in a week of reported cases was 7%. However, the amount of discarded cases grew 63%, from 282 to the current 462, "said Claudio Maierovitch, director of the Department of Surveillance of Communicable Diseases of the Ministry of Health.
In total, 68 deaths were reported due to congenital malformations after delivery (stillbirth) or during pregnancy (miscarriage). Of these, 12 were confirmed to the relationship with congenital infection, all in the Northeast, 10 in Rio Grande do Norte, one in Ceará and one in Piauí. Continue research in 51 deaths and five have already been discarded.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Health is investigating all cases of microcephaly or defects reported by the states, and the possible relationship with the Zika virus and other congenital infections. The microcephaly can be caused by various infectious agents beyond Zika, such as syphilis, toxoplasmosis, Other Infectious Agents, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus and Herpes Viral.
According to the report, the 4,180 cases reported since the beginning of the investigation on 22 October last year - were recorded in 830 municipalities in 24 Brazilian states. The Northeast region has 86% of reported cases and Pernambuco continues with the highest number of cases that remain under investigation (1125), followed by the states of Paraíba (497), Bahia (471), Ceará (218), Sergipe (172 ), Alagoas (158), Rio Grande do Norte (133), Rio de Janeiro (122) and Maranhão (119).
So far, they are with indigenous circulation of Zika virus 22 units of the federation. They are: Goiás, Minas Gerais, Federal District, Mato Grosso do Sul, Roraima, Amazonas, Para, Rondonia, Mato Grosso, Tocantins, Maranhao, Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Bahia, Espírito Santo , Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Parana.
A table showing Microcephalic cases under investigation by Regions and Federative Units is available at the above link.