In February 2014, the public health authorities of Chile confirmed the first case of indigenous transmission of infection by Zika virus in Easter Island (Chile). The virus was reported through June of that year.
Now, local transmission of Zika virus has been confirmed in the South American country of Suriname.
On 2 November 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of Suriname notified PAHO/WHO of 2 autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection. Preliminary laboratory testing was conducted at the Academic Hospital Paramaribo. The investigation is ongoing and further information is pending, the WHO reports.
The announcement of the infections prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for Suriname today.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus related to yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis viruses; however, ZIKV produces a comparatively mild disease in humans. It was first isolated from an infected rhesus monkey in the Zika Forest of Uganda in 1947.
Until recently, it was relatively rare to see ZIKV outside of Africa and Asia. The virus is transmitted to humans via mosquitoes of the genus Aedes.
Information regarding pathogenesis of ZIKV is scarce but mosquito-borne flaviviruses are thought to replicate initially in dendritic cells near the site of inoculation then spread to lymph nodes and the bloodstream.
Symptoms may include a headache, a maculopapular rash covering the face, neck, trunk, and upper arms,which may spread to the palms and soles. Transient fever, malaise, and back pain may also develop.
Ospina notes, “(But) some of those infected have it presented neurological affectations character polyneuritis, among others, in a few cases.”
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