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World Updates

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – United Arab Emirates

Between 11 and 14 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates notified WHO of 2 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death. Contact tracing of household and healthcare contacts is ongoing for these cases.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus – China

On 18 January 2016, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 1 additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus – China

On 18 January 2016, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 1 additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus. The case is a 31-year-old female from Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province who developed symptoms on 8 January. The patient was admitted to a local hospital and is now in critical condition.

Zika virus infection – France - Saint Martin and Guadeloupe

On 18 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point (NFP) for France notified WHO of the first laboratory-confirmed case of locally-acquired Zika virus in Saint Martin, an overseas department of France. On the same day, 1 autochthonous case of Zika virus infection was confirmed in Guadeloupe, another overseas department of France. The proximity of mosquito vector breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection.

Guillain-Barré syndrome – El Salvador

The National IHR Focal Point of El Salvador has notified PAHO/WHO of an unusual increase of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) in the country. In El Salvador, the annual average number of GBS is 169; however, from 1 December 2015 to 6 January 2016, 46 GBS were recorded, including 2 deaths. Of the 46 GBS cases, 25 (54%) are male and 35 (76%) are 30 years old or older. All cases were hospitalized and treated with plasma exchange or intravenous immunoglobulin. One of the two deceased patients had a history of multiple underlying chronic diseases.

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