Rapid risk assessment: Zika virus disease epidemic - 9th update, 28 October 2016

Risk assessment
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Rapid Risk Assessment. Zika virus disease epidemic. Ninth update, 28 October 2016. Stockholm: ECDC; 2016.

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​ECDC has updated its risk assessment on the Zika virus epidemic in currently affected countries, in EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and Outermost Regions (OMRs) and in EU Member States within continental Europe. It offers a number of options for risk reduction that can be considered by Member State authorities.
The latest update of ECDC’s rapid risk assessment on the Zika epidemic considers the recent epidemiological and scientific information in light of the risk to Europe and European citizens. See all recent scientific findings based on literature reviewed after the eighth update of the ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment on Zika virus infection.

Executive summary

​The latest update of ECDC’s rapid risk assessment on the Zika epidemic considers the recent epidemiological and scientific information in light of the risk to Europe and European citizens.

The Zika epidemic remains a significant concern for public health. The latest update of ECDC’s rapid risk assessment on the Zika epidemic considers the recent epidemiological and scientific information in light of the risk to Europe and European citizens.

Pregnant women are still considered the most important risk group and the primary target for preventive measures because Zika virus infection during pregnancy is associated with intrauterine central nervous system infection, congenital malformations and foetal death.

It is expected that Zika-viraemic travellers will continue to return to the EU. It is not expected that this will lead to local vector-borne transmission in the coming months because the seasonal conditions for Zika virus transmission by vectors will become unfavourable (except in Madeira which has the primary vector for Zika – Aedes aegypti). Despite concerns, there have been no reported cases of vector-borne autochthonous transmission in Europe to date.

Although continuing, vector-borne transmission seems to be slowing down in Central American countries and the Caribbean. The outbreak continues to evolve in Mexico and the southern part of the US, as weather conditions still favour seasonal vector activity. In addition to the Americas, cases have been reported in some Asian countries.

ECDC has updated and clarified its options for risk reduction most notably for returning travellers (from areas with reported Zika transmission in the past three months) to prevent sexual transmission.