The World Health Organization (WHO) released their Zika Situation Report Friday, which is chock full of interesting information, ranging from the incidence of Zika virus to microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) data.
Between 2015 and 2016, 33 countries have reported autochthonous transmission- Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Curaçao, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Maldives, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Tonga, United States Virgin Islands, Vanuatu and Venezuela.
Brazil has reported by far the most cases, in fact, the outbreak got so large they stopped counting cases. Best estimates from Brazil health officials say there has been 497,593 and 1,482,701 cases of Zika virus since the outbreak began.
Following Brazil is Colombia with more than 20,000 cases since first reported last October.
In October 2015, Cape Verde, an island off the coast of West Africa, reported an outbreak of Zika virus and has reported 7 081 cases as of 17 January 2016.
Concerning microcephaly, between 2001 and 2014, Brazil reported an average of 163 microcephaly cases nationwide annually.
As of 30 January 2016, the Ministry of Health reported 4,783 cases of microcephaly and/or central nervous system (CNS) malformation including 76 deaths.
Authorities in Brazil have concluded the investigation into 1,113 of the 4,783 cases of reported cases of microcephaly: 709 cases were discarded, 17 cases had laboratory confirmation of Zika infection, and 387 cases had radiological findings compatible with a congenital infection.
Of the 17 laboratory-confirmed cases, 2 were miscarriages and the remaining 15 cases were live births, all residents from North-eastern states of Brazil. Of the 76 reported deaths due to congenital malformations, Zika virus was identified in fetal tissue of 5 cases, all from the northeast of Brazil.
In the context of Zika virus outbreak, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Suriname, and Venezuela have reported an observed increase of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), just as French Polynesia reported during the 2013 – 2014 outbreak.
In 2015, a total of 1,708 cases of GBS were registered nationwide in Brazil, representing a 19% average increase from the previous year (1,439 cases of GBS), though not all states reported an increase in incidence.
In February 2016, the Colombia International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point (NFP) reported an increase in cases of GBS. Colombia reports an average of 242 cases of GBS per year. However, in the five weeks to 30 January 2016, there were 86 cases of GBS already reported.
From 1 December 2015 to 6 January 2016, 46 GBS cases were recorded in El Salvador, including 2 deaths, while the annual average number of GBS cases is 169.