Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Brazil: MOH Updates Microcephalic Birth Numbers

Microcephalic Case Distribution As Of 12/19/15

# 10,840

In a normal week Brazil registers roughly 3 microcephalic births, and yearly totals typically run between 130 and 175 cases (see chart below). Starting in October public health officials began to report a huge increase in microcephalic birth defects, and now it is not uncommon to see a year or more worth reported in a week.

This week nearly 200 additional cases are reported, bringing this year's total to 2976 suspected cases.  This represents an increase of more than 2500 cases over the past 6 weeks.

Today's update shows a slowdown in cases - at least compared to the 500+/week we were seeing a month ago - but this may be due to delayed reporting during the holidays, or perhaps due to a decrease in Zika virus transmission (the suspected, but not proven, cause) during Brazil's winter.

Summer in Brazil began last week, and the forecast is for a hotter, wetter season than in recent years (see Rio Worries Over A `Zika Summer'): conditions many fear could exacerbate the spread of the Zika virus in the coming months.

Although their regular epidemiological report has yet to be published, the following summary was posted on the Brazilian MOH website a short while ago.

Registration Date: 12/29/2015 15:12:38 changed the 12/29/2015 in the 16:12:19

Are under investigation 2,975 suspected cases of the disease in 656 municipalities in 20 Brazilian states

The Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday (29) the latest epidemiological bulletin of the year on microcephaly. The data was compiled by the 26th of December. To date, it has been reported 2,975 suspected cases of the disease in newborns of 656 municipalities in 20 Brazilian states. Also are being investigated 40 suspicious deaths of microcephaly related to Zika virus. 

Of the 20 Brazilian states with suspected cases, nine remained with number of suspected cases equal to the previous bulletin released last week (22/12). Three states (TO, MG and MT) showed a decrease of eight cases showed an increase of cases.

The largest number of cases was registered in Pernambuco (1,153), representing 38.76% of cases across the country. The state was the first to identify microcephaly increase in the country. Next are the states of Paraíba (476), Bahia (271), Rio Grande do Norte (154), Sergipe (146), Ceará (134), Alagoas (129), Maranhão (94) and Piauí (51).

In November, the Ministry of Health declared Emergency Public Health of National Importance to give greater flexibility to the investigations being carried out in an integrated manner with state and municipal health departments. It is a mechanism provided for in cases of public health emergencies that require the urgent job of prevention, control and risk containment, damage and harm to public health. It is also in operation since the 10th of November, the Emergency Operations Center for Global Health (COES), a crisis management mechanism that brings together the various areas to respond to this event.

MOBILIZE NATIONAL  - For the implementation of the National Plan to Combat microcephaly, was set up the National Centre for Coordination and Control for Combating microcephaly. The aim is to intensify the actions of mobilization and combat the mosquito  Aedes aegypti. Also state rooms will be installed, which will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Health, Departments of Health, Education, Public Security, Social Welfare, Civil Defense and Armed Forces.

They are currently deployed rooms in 18 Brazilian states: Acre, Amazonas, Goias, Mato Grosso, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Paraná, Santa Catarina, Tocantins, Rio Grande do Sul, Distrito Federal, State of Alagoas, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul , Rio de Janeiro, Sergipe and Ceará. Four other states are in the room implementation phase: Pará, Rio Grande do Norte, Minas Gerais and São Paulo. The other will be guided by the Ministry of Health to implement the rooms.

ORIENTATION - The Ministry of Health recommends that pregnant women take steps that can reduce the presence of disease-transmitting mosquitoes by eliminating breeding sites, and protect themselves from mosquito exposure, keeping doors and windows closed or screened, wear pants and shirt long-sleeved and use repellents allowed for pregnant women. Also part of these guidelines the monitoring and prenatal consultations, with the completion of all tests recommended by your doctor. The Ministry of Health reinforces the guidance of not consume alcohol or any other drugs, not use drugs without medical prescription and avoid contact with people with fever or infection.

ZIKA - Currently, the movement of the Zika is confirmed by PCR with molecular biology technology. From the confirmation in a particular locality, the other diagnoses are made ​​clinically, for medical assessment of symptoms.

The Ministry of Health trained over 11 public laboratories to perform the diagnosis of Zika. Relying on the five reference units in Brazil for this type of examination, there are already 16 centers with the knowledge to take the test. In the next two months, the technology will be transferred to 11 more laboratories, totaling 27 units prepared to analyze 400 samples a month from suspected cases of Zika across the country.

(Continue . . .)