Zika virus expected to spread further across Americas


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. 

New ebola case in Sierra Leone

  • 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 

ebola in sierra leone