Zika virus infection – France – Saint Martin and Guadeloupe
On 18 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point (NFP) for France notified WHO of the first laboratory-confirmed case of locally-acquired Zika virus in Saint Martin, an overseas department of France. On the same day, 1 autochthonous case of Zika virus infection was confirmed in Guadeloupe, another overseas department of France.
The proximity of mosquito vector breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection. Prevention and control relies on reducing the breeding of mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people. This can be achieved by reducing the number of natural and artificial water-filled habitats that support mosquito larvae, reducing the adult mosquito populations around at-risk communities and by using barriers such as insect screens, closed doors and windows, long clothing and repellents. Since the Aedes mosquitoes (the primary vector for transmission) are day-biting mosquitoes, it is recommended that those who sleep during the daytime, particularly young children, the sick or elderly, should rest under mosquito nets (bed nets), treated with or without insecticide to provide protection.
Zika virus infection – Haiti
On 18 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for Haiti notified PAHO/WHO of 5 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus infection. Of the 5 confirmed cases, 4 are from the Delmas commune while the remaining case is from the Pétion-Ville commune. Samples of the patient were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) laboratory in Trinidad and Tobago for testing. All cases were confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase-chain reaction (RT-PCR).
In addition, between 4 and 12 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for Germany notified PAHO/WHO of 2 cases of Zika virus infection in German nationals who had returned from Haiti to Germany in late December.
Guillain-Barré syndrome – El Salvador
The National IHR Focal Point of El Salvador has notified PAHO/WHO of an unusual increase of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) in the country. In El Salvador, the annual average number of GBS is 169; however, from 1 December 2015 to 6 January 2016, 46 GBS were recorded, including 2 deaths.
Monkey Pox – Central African Republic
Health authorities in the Central African Republic are urging the public to avoid contact with dead animals while an outbreak of Monkey Pox is reported in Mbomou, south of the country.
The Ministry of Health recorded 2 deaths and forty people have been placed in quarantine
The Monkey pox is a viral disease with symptoms similar to that of chicken pox.