Zika virus infection is caused by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, usually causing mild fever, rash, conjunctivitis, and muscle pain.
The virus was isolated for the first time in 1947 in the Zika forest in Uganda and subsequently isolated from humans in Nigeria in 1968. It is known to have circulated in Asia since the 1960s. In 2007, a major epidemic was reported on the island of Yap State (Federated States of Micronesia), the first notification under the revised IHR (2005).
On March 31 China notified WHO of the first human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9). Although human infections with other subgroups of H7 influenza viruses have occurred before, this is the first report of H7N9 cases in humans and causing severe illnesses. The Chinese government has heightened disease surveillance and it is likely that more cases will be identified. At this stage, there is no evidence of sustained human to human transmission. WHO is providing relevant information to governments and the general public through various communication channels, to ensure that information is available and necessary actions are taken to reduce risks associated with this virus.
Tropical Cyclone Winston tore through Fiji on 20-21 February, resulting in 44 deaths, over 125 injured, and thousands without shelter, food, and safe water. In all, the cyclone affected the lives of an estimated 350,000 people. WHO is supporting the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services in the health response to this disaster with help from many humanitarian partners.
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a strain of coronavirus that causes a viral respiratory illness called MERS. The disease was first reported in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in September 2012. To date, several countries have reported MERS-CoV infections, including China, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Republic of Korea from the Western Pacific Region. It is possible that further healthcare associated clusters could occur in the Western Pacific Region following an imported case returning from the Middle East, as is currently being observed in the Republic of Korea.
News Releases and statements
WHO supports Fiji's health needs caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston
WHO statement on the first meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR 2005) Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations
WHO recommends continuation of strong disease control measures to bring MERS-CoV outbreak in Republic of Korea to an end
World Health Organization
Western Pacific Regional Office
P.O. Box 2932