Zika Virus Update – April 21, 2016

Zika Virus Updates - April 21, 2016The CDC has confirmed that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly. However, there is still no proof of a direct link between the virus and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). We have summarized the most pertinent updates for you below:

Updated as of April 21, 2016

  • The CDC has confirmed the Zika virus as a cause of microcephaly. In CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden’s words, “There is still a lot that we don’t know [about Zika], but there is no longer any doubt that Zika causes microcephaly.”
  • There are no changes in the CDC guidelines regarding the Zika virus, but pregnant women are discouraged from travelling to any area where the Zika virus is widespread.
  • The WHO confirmed that sexual contact can spread the Zika virus for at least three weeks after the initial infection. However, the exact period for protected sex remains undefined.
  • The Zika virus’s association with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and other severe nervous system disorders has expanded the risk group. While the WHO has reported increased cases of GBS from Brazil, further research is needed to confirm a direct link.
  • Since the last update, local mosquito transmission has been reported in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
  • To date, there are zero locally acquired and forty-six travel-related Zika virus cases in Canada (+24 since last month). This includes two pregnant women in BC who recently went to a trip in South America and they are currently being closely monitored.

Source: CDC, WHO, & the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to leave us a comment below! If not, stay tuned next month for our next Zika virus update.

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