Epidemiological update: Outbreaks of Zika virus and complications potentially linked to the Zika virus infection

Epidemiological update

​According to WHO and as of 30 September 2016, 21 countries or territories have reported microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations in newborns potentially associated with Zika virus infection.

​Since 1 February 2016, Zika virus infection and the related clusters of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders constitute a PHEIC. Since 2015, and as of 30 September 2016, there have been 68 countries and territories reporting mosquito-borne transmission of the virus. According to WHO and as of 30 September 2016, 21 countries or territories have reported microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations in newborns potentially associated with Zika virus infection.

Update on number of cases

 
The USA 
Twenty-three locally-acquired cases have been recorded in Florida over the past week. To date, 115 locally-acquired and 705 imported cases of Zika have been reported in Florida. The distribution of the locally-acquired cases is as follows: 106 in Miami-Dade, seven in Palm beach, one in Pinellas and one in Broward.

Singapore 
As of 28 September 2016, the Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA) recorded 396 locally-acquired Zika virus infection, 11 cases in the past week.

The Philippines 
On 26 September, the Philippines reported three new autochthonous cases, bringing the total to 12. Therefore, this country is now appearing as 'widespread transmission' on the ECDC map.On 26 September, the Philippines reported three new autochthonous cases, bringing the total to 12. Therefore, this country is now appearing as 'widespread transmission' on the ECDC map.

Maldives
On 29 September, WHO reported mosquito-borne Zika virus infections in German and Spanish travellers returning from the Maldives.  

EU/EEA imported cases

Since November 2015 (week 45), 19 countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) have reported 1660 travel-associated Zika virus infections through The European Surveillance System (TESSy). Over the same time period, seven EU countries reported 80 Zika cases among pregnant women.
 

EU’s Outermost Regions and Territories

 
As of 22 September 2016:
 

  • Martinique: 36 260 suspected cases have been reported, an increase of 160 since the previous week. The weekly number of cases is stable.
  • French Guiana: 9 740 suspected cases have been detected, an increase of 77 cases since the previous week. The weekly number of cases is stable.
  • Guadeloupe: 30 130 suspected cases have been detected, an increase of 290 suspected cases since the previous week. The weekly number of cases is stable.
  • St Barthélemy: 725 suspected cases have been detected, an increase of 55 suspected cases since the previous week. The weekly number of cases is stable.

 

  • St Martin: 2 350 suspected cases have been detected, an increase of 85 suspected cases since the previous week. The weekly number of cases is stable.
     
    Since February 2016, 12 countries have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission of Zika virus, probably via a sexual route.

Update on microcephaly and/or central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection

As of 30 September 2016, microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection have been reported by 21 countries or territories. Brazil reports the highest number of cases. Eighteen countries and territories worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases.
 

ECDC assessment

The spread of the Zika virus in the Americas is likely to continue as the vectors (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes) are widely distributed there. The likelihood of travel-related cases in the EU is increasing. A detailed risk assessment was published on 30 August 2016. As neither treatment nor vaccines are available, prevention is based on personal protection measures. Pregnant women should consider postponing non-essential travel to Zika-affected areas.​