Between 15 and 16 February 2016, WHO was notified of the first autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection on the islands of Bonaire and Aruba. These islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and are situated in the southern part of the Caribbean region, just north of the Venezuelan coast. Aruba is an autonomous, self-governing constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while Bonaire is a special municipality of the Netherlands.
On 15 February, the National IHR Focal Point (IHR NFP) for the Netherlands reported one case of Zika virus infection in Bonaire. The case was confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 12 February.
On 25 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Benin notified WHO of an outbreak of Lassa fever.
The outbreak was initially detected on 21 January following reports of unexplained fever within a cluster of health workers from the district of Tchaourou, Borgou department. On 3 January, these health workers provided care to a patient suffering from haemorrhagic fever.
On 21 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Angola notified WHO of an outbreak of yellow fever.
The first cases were identified in the district of Viana (Luanda province) on 5 December 2015. Yellow fever infection was initially confirmed in three patients by polymerase chain reaction at the Zoonosis and Emerging Disease Laboratory of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, South Africa and at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal.
On 5 February 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the United States of America notified PAHO/WHO of a probable case of sexual transmission of Zika virus.
Person A, a resident of Dallas, Texas, travelled to Venezuela for one week between late December and the beginning of January. Several days after returning to the United States, Person A developed symptoms consistent with Zika virus infection, including fever, rash, conjunctivitis, and malaise. One day prior to symptom onset and once during the symptomatic period, Person A had sex with Person B (non-traveller). Approximately one week after the onset of illness in Person A, Person B developed symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease, including fever, pruritic rash, conjunctivitis, small joint arthralgia and malaise.
On 16 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the United States of America notified PAHO/WHO of a male infant with microcephaly born in the state of Hawaii in December.
The mother of the child experienced symptoms compatible with Zika virus infection during her second month of pregnancy, while residing in Brazil; however, at the time, testing for the infection was not performed.
Between 30 January and 2 February 2016, the National IHR Focal Points of Colombia and Venezuela informed PAHO/WHO of increases in the number of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) cases recorded at the national level.
From epidemiological week (EW) 51 of 2015 to EW 3 of 2016, 86 GBS cases were reported. On average, Colombia registers 242 GBS cases per year or approximately 19 cases per month or 5 cases per week. The 86 GBS cases reported in those 5 weeks is three times higher than the averaged expected cases of the 6 previous years.