Zika Virus found in Mexico

National health authorities in Mexico notified PAHO/WHO of 3 cases of Zika virus infection, including two autochthonous cases (residents of Nuevo León and Chiapas) and one imported case (with history of travel to Colombia). The diagnoses were made by the national reference laboratory using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Mexican health authorities are implementing the corresponding prevention and control measures. Investigations are ongoing.

Zika virus disease is a mosquito-borne disease caused by Zika virus (ZIKV) which causes in general a mild febrile illness with maculo-papular rash. Aedes mosquitoes are considered as main vectors. Before 2007, viral circulation and a few outbreaks were documented in tropical Africa and in some areas in Southeast Asia. Since 2007, several islands of the Pacific region have experienced outbreaks. In 2015, ZIKV disease outbreaks were reported in South America for the first time. ZIKV disease is now considered as an emerging infectious disease.

Given the increased transmission of Zika virus in the Region of the Americas, PAHO/WHO recommends that its Member States establish and maintain the capacity to detect and confirm cases of Zika virus infection, prepare their health services for a potential additional burden at all levels of health care, and implement an effective public communications strategy to reduce the mosquitoes that transmit this disease, particularly in areas where this vector is present.

  • Prevention is based on protection against mosquito bites. Aedes mosquitoes have diurnal biting activities in both indoor and outdoor environments. Therefore personal protection measures should be applied all day long and especially during the hours of highest mosquito activity (mid-morning, late afternoon to twilight).
  • Personal protection measures to avoid mosquito bites should be applied when staying in risk areas by:
  • using repellents and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants especially during the hours of highest mosquito activity,
  • using long-lasting insecticidal treated mosquito bed nets which are essential in providing protection from mosquitos bites if the accommodations are not adequately screened or air conditioned,
  • removing mosquito breeding sites in close outdoor/indoor premises.
  • Repellent use must be strictly done in accordance with the instructions indicated on the product label. For newborn children under three months of age, repellents are not recommended.
  • Travellers, especially children, pregnant women, and people with immune disorders or severe chronic illnesses, should consult their doctor or seek advice from a travel clinic to receive personalised recommendations on use of repellents and protection before travelling;
  • Similar protective measures apply to a symptomatic patient in order to prevent transmitting the disease to non-infected mosquitoes.

– See more at: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/zika_virus_infection/factsheet-health-professionals/Pages/factsheet_health_professionals.aspx#sthash.6sORZIxd.dpuf

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