Health Information Update

Source: WHO, Event Information Site for IHR National Focal

Event Updates: 25 October 2019 to 29 October 2019

Event Updated Country Hazard Disease Event Description IHR Assessment
2019-10-29 France Infectious Zika virus Disease On 9 October 2019, French authorities reported an autochthonous Zika case in Hyeres, Var department, France. The onset of rash was on 15 August 2019. The case also reported headache, retro-orbital and muscle pain and asthenia on 29 July. The case has recovered to date. No travel history to Zika endemic countries were reported for her or her partner, and the case did not report any information that could support sexual transmission. 

During the investigation, two probable Zika cases with consistent clinical history were identified, both living in the same neighborhood as the first case. The second case had symptom onset on 6 August 2019 and did not report recent travel prior to the onset of symptoms. The third case had symptom onset on 7 August 2019 and did not report recent travel prior to the onset of symptoms. His residence is in the immediate vicinity of the home of the second case. Further investigations by French authorities are ongoing to determine the possible route(s) of transmission for the three patients. However, it is suspected that the three cases result from vector-borne transmission of Zika in this neighborhood in late July/early August. This is supported by the timing of symptom onset of the 3 patients (i.e. all with symptom onset within a few days of each other and no history of recent travel).

These are the first autochthonous vector-borne Zika cases detected in metropolitan France and in Europe.

 The overall risk for disease spread at national level is low given that the primary vector Aedes aegypti is not established in the area where cases were reported. To date, there is no evidence of further spread beyond these three cases. Further epidemiological investigations are planned to assess the full extent of this possible viral circulation. At the regional and the global level, the overall risk for disease spread is considered very low.

However, exportation cannot be ruled out given the presence of competent vectors (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus) in other European countries where mosquitos can become infected by biting infected travelers leading to potential further spread of the disease.

 WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on the affected country regarding this event.

Public Health Risk
2019-10-25 Pakistan Infectious Dengue Fever The current outbreak of dengue fever was first reported on 8 July 2019 by the Khyber Teaching Hospital in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. Since then, the three other provinces (Punjab, Balochistan, and Sindh), as well as Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK; one of the two autonomous territories) have also reported dengue outbreaks.   

Overall, from 8 July to 21 October 2019, a total of 34,577 confirmed cases of dengue fever, including 48 deaths, were reported from the four provinces (KP, Punjab, Balochistan, and Sindh), Islamabad, the federal territory, and AJK, the autonomous territory. In 2017 and 2018, 22,938 and 3,204 dengue cases were reported respectively.

At the national level the risk is high. Regionally, risk is assessed as moderate. Globally, risk is assessed as low. 

WHO does not recommend any general travel or trade restrictions to Pakistan based on the currently available information.

Public Health Risk  

*A public health risk is something that is (or is likely to be) hazardous to human health or could contribute to a disease or an infectious condition in humans.