Infection with Zika virus (ZV) has become a new epidemic, with great impact on the media, and is having a strong effect in Latin American countries. Its possible association with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare on 1 February 2016 that this epidemic is a public health emergency of international concern. Epidemiological data show an increasing incidence in countries like Brazil and Colombia, and that the epidemic is still expanding in many other countries. Between January 2007 and 27 April 2016, the WHO detected transmission in 55 countries (in 42 of these, this was the first outbreak of Zika) and 1,198 microcephalies and other neurological disorders in Brazil. Also, during 2015-2016, 13 countries detected an increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome and/or confirmation of ZV associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Research has already demonstrated a causal relationship between microcephaly and other serious brain disorders in newborns and ZV infection in the mother. Clinically, many cases are asymptomatic and it can be difficult to distinguish this diagnosis from that of other arboviruses. Vector control in Spain is a priority because of the presence of the Aedes albopictus (tiger mosquito). Early diagnosis is recommended, as is avoiding travel to endemic areas and unprotected sex, and ensuring that the high political profile, which can prevent this epidemic from becoming a high prevalence endemic disease, does not cause us to forget about other health problems.
- Media epidemics
- Public health
- Vector, control
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health