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World Updates

Zika virus infection – Haiti

On 18 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for Haiti notified PAHO/WHO of 5 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus infection. Of the 5 confirmed cases, 4 are from the Delmas commune while the remaining case is from the Pétion-Ville commune. Samples of the patient were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) laboratory in Trinidad and Tobago for testing. All cases were confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase-chain reaction (RT-PCR).

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.

Zika virus infection – Bolivia

On 16 January 2016, Ministry of Health of Bolivia, through its National IHR Focal Points (NFP), notified PAHO/WHO of the first laboratory-confirmed cases of locally-acquired Zika virus infection in the country. The case is a 32-year-old pregnant woman from Portachuelo, Santa Cruz Department, with onset of symptoms on 8 January. She has no recent history of travel. On 12 January, samples of the patient were sent to the National Center for Tropical Diseases for testing. On 14 January, the case was confirmed by polymerase-chain reaction (PCR) (viral genome detection).

Zika virus infection – Guyana, Barbados and Ecuador

Between 14 and 15 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Points (NFP) for Guyana, Barbados and Ecuador notified PAHO/WHO of cases of Zika virus infection. On 14 January, the NFP for Guyana reported the first laboratory-confirmed case of locally-acquired Zika virus infection in the country. The case is a 27-year-old female from Berbice, Region 6, with onset of symptoms on 1 January.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China

On 11 January 2016, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 10 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H7N9) virus, including 3 deaths.

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