Suspected microcephaly cases in Brazil since October
- The World Health Organisation says it expects the Zika virus to spread further throughout the Americas. +
It anticipates that the virus 'will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found' - Canada and continental Chile are the only countries in the region where Aedes mosquitoes are not present.
The WHO says local populations have not been exposed to Zika before and therefore lack immunity.
Speaking on Wednesday, WHO director general Dr. Margaret Chan said that while a causal link between the Zika virus in pregnant women and babies born with microcephaly had not been established, 'the circumstantial evidence is worrisome'. *
- Microcephaly is a condition where babies are born with smaller than normal heads.
One day after the World Health Organisation declared Libera as being 'ebola free', a new case has emerged in neighbouring Sierra Leone.
The new case is a 22 year old woman who died on January 12th after falling sick a few days earlier. +
The WHO said the new case 'reflects the ongoing risk of new infections in West Africa' due to the 'persistence of the virus among survivors'. *
Sierra Leone had been declared ebola free on November 7th last year.
Across Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, a total of 28,601 ebola cases have been recorded with 11,300 deaths.
Ebola in Sierra Leone
The dead body of a 67 year old woman has tested positive for ebola.
The news came after the last known ebola patient in the country was discharged from hospital last Monday.