World Health Organization: Disease Outbreak News 8 February 2016
Between 27 and 30 January 2016, PAHO/WHO was notified of cases of Zika virus infection in Costa Rica, Curaçao, Jamaica and Nicaragua.
On 27 January, the National IHR Focal Point of the United States reported of a case of Zika virus infection in a patient returning from Costa Rica.
On 28 January, the National IHR Focal Point of the Netherlands reported the first autochthonous case of Zika virus infection in Curaçao. Curaçao is an independent state and part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is situated in the southern part of the Caribbean region just north of the Venezuelan coast.
On 30 January, the National IHR Focal Point of Jamaica reported a case of Zika virus infection.
On 27 January, the National IHR Focal Point of Nicaragua reported the country’s first 2 laboratory-confirmed cases of locally-acquired Zika virus infection.
The proximity of mosquito vector breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection. Prevention and control relies on reducing the breeding of mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people. This can be achieved by reducing the number of natural and artificial water-filled habitats that support mosquito larvae, reducing the adult mosquito populations around at-risk communities and by using barriers such as insect screens, closed doors and windows, long clothing and repellents. Since the Aedes mosquitoes (the primary vector for transmission) are day-biting mosquitoes, it is recommended that those who sleep during the daytime, particularly young children, the sick or elderly, should rest under mosquito nets (bed nets), treated with or without insecticide to provide protection.
During outbreaks, space spraying of insecticides may be carried out following the technical orientation provided by WHO to kill flying mosquitoes. Suitable insecticides (recommended by the WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme) may also be used as larvicides to treat relatively large water containers, when this is technically indicated.
Basic precautions for protection from mosquito bites should be taken by people traveling to high risk areas, especially pregnant women. These include use of repellents, wearing light colored, long sleeved shirts and pants and ensuring rooms are fitted with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restriction to Costa Rica, Curaçao, Jamaica and Nicaragua based on the current information available.