The WHO Executive Board, currently holding its 142nd session in Geneva, has appointed Dr Carissa Etienne for a second term as WHO Regional Director for Americas.
The mosquito-borne Zika virus has already infected more than 13,500 people in Colombia and could hit as many as 700,000, the health minister said on Wednesday. According to Pan-American Health Organization figures, the country is second only to Brazil in infection rates, health minister Alejandro Gaviria told journalists.
Brazilian health authorities, who alerted the nation Monday to the rapid spread of the Zika virus, confirmed that up to now it has caused one death and that another six victims are in critical condition and under medical examination.
Jamaica's Ministry of Health is urging people to be more vigilant and to clean up their environment and destroy mosquito breeding sites, in light of the announcement by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) that the Zika virus has been detected in a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nation.
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.
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is warning vacation and business travelers to the Caribbean about the importance of protecting themselves from mosquitoes that may transmit Chikungunya virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue.
British public health officials say they are grappling with an escalating number of cases of the debilitating chikungunya virus, as holidaymakers return from Caribbean countries.
The Chikungunya outbreak which continues to affect thousands of Caribbean residents since it first appeared in St. Martin last year has been relatively self-limiting in the United States, due to the fact that the current strain only spreads through the Aedes egypti mosquito vector, which is uncommon on the US Eastern seaboard.
On 21 October 2014, WHO was notified by the National IHR Focal Point for France of 4 cases of chikungunya locally-acquired infection in Montpellier, France. The cases were confirmed by tests conducted by the French National Reference Laboratory for arboviruses on 20 October 2014. This is the first time that locally-acquired transmission of chikungunya has been detected in France since 2010.
An outbreak of a mysterious hemorrhagic fever syndrome in the Venezuelan state of Aragua and the country’s capital Caracas has left ten people dead in the last three weeks. Reports indicate that nine people have so far succumbed to the disease in the northern state and a tenth person has died in the capital.