The first known case of Zika virus transmission in the United States was reported in Texas on Tuesday by local health officials, who said it likely was contracted through sex and not a mosquito bite, a day after the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency.
The World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan has briefed on the Zika virus situation. In the briefing Ms Chan gave a brief history of the disease and explained why WHO is so deeply concerned.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that is new to the Americas. Since Brazil reported the first cases of local transmission of the virus in May 2015, it has spread to 21 countries and territories* of the Americas (as of 23 January 2016).
Following reports of suspected Zika virus in Brazil, the health ministries of several Caribbean countries have issued advisories for the mosquito borne viral disease.On Thursday, the Jamaica Health Ministry issued an epidemiological alert after the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) noted the potential spread of this arbovirus across territories where the vectors (Aedes) are present.
A heightened risk of an outbreak of dengue fever during the upcoming soccer World Cup in Brazil has prompted a high alert in three out of 12 host cities. For the first time, scientists have developed an early warning system that predicts the risk of dengue fever infections throughout parts of Brazil.
The world’s largest ever swarm of genetically modified mosquitoes has been released in a Brazilian town to combat dengue -- a leading cause of illness and fatality in several Mercosur countries, except for Uruguay.
A team of French and Brazilian researchers warn that chikungunya virus is poised to invade, and become epidemic in the Americas according to research published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.
At least 573 people have died from dengue in Brazil so far this year, nearly twice the figure reported in 2012, according to official figures released Wednesday. Last year, 292 deaths were recorded and 473 in 2011, according to the health ministry.
Paraguay, north Argentina and Brazil are in dengue alert following the confirmation of over 200.000 cases of the mosquito transmitted viral disease so far this year. The situation is considered worst that in previous years because besides a deep rise in the confirmed cases, the circulation of the four sero-types (strains) of dengue (1, 2, 3 and 4) has been detected, which means the disease keeps expanding.
Paraguay’s Health Ministry announced it will appeal to SMS messages as part of the awareness campaign to help prevent the mosquito transmitted dengue disease which this year has already caused 70 deaths and thousands of infections.