Microcephaly – Brazil

In October 2015, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Brazil notified PAHO/WHO of an unusual increase in the number of cases of microcephaly among newborns in the state of Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil.

As of 17 November, a total of 399 cases of microcephaly were being investigated in seven states in the northeast of Brazil. Most of the cases were registered in Pernambuco state (268). Other states that reported microcephaly cases are Sergipe (44), Rio Grande do Norte (39), Paraiba (21), Piaui (10), Ceara (9) and Bahia (8).

Mosquitos Spreading New Invasive Disease in Americas (Zika Virus)

A mosquito-borne disease once limited to Africa and Asia is spreading across parts of South America.

Zika joins dengue and chikungunya as invasive diseases carried by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.

It threatens public health and tourism from the Caribbean to South America. Zika first appeared in Brazil last April, with local authorities linking it to foreign visitors attending the FIFA World Cup competition.

Six cases of the disease have now been confirmed in neighboring Suriname.

Symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, nausea, eyeball pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

The illness typically lasts between four and seven days.

Ebola Returns to Liberia

Two months after Liberia was declared free of Ebola, three confirmed cases of the deadly disease have emerged in the West African nation.

Thee nation’s health ministry said a new case was confirmed Thursday, when blood samples from a patient admitted in a hospital the same week tested positive.

Two other high- risk contacts also tested positive, and all three are undergoing care at an Ebola treatment centre in the capital of Monrovia, the health ministry said in a statement.

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