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Lancet. 2005 May 28; 365(9474):1846-1847.The World Health Report 2005—Make Every Mother and Child Count is to be commended for including neonates as a focus of maternal and child health. This perspective is consistent with The Lancet’s neonatal survival series and is strongly supported by the March of Dimes. Unfortunately, the report overlooks birth defects as a major global cause of infant death and disability. In doing so, it has missed the opportunity to highlight care and prevention of birth defects, which should be an integral part of the maternal, newborn, and child health programmes of any country. Every year, 7.8 million children are born with a serious genetic birth defect. Hundreds of thousands more are born with serious birth defects due to teratogens, including fetal alcohol syndrome, maternal iodine deficiency syndrome, congenital syphilis, and congenital rubella syndrome. (excerpt)
Provisional remarks on Zika virus infection in pregnant women: Document for health care professionals.
Montevideo, Uruguay, PAHO, 2016 Jan 25.  p.The aim of this document is to provide health care professionals in charge of the care of pregnant women with updated information based on the best evidence available for the prevention of infection, timely diagnosis, suggested therapy and monitoring of pregnant women, and notification of cases to the competent health authorities. The information presented in this document was updated on January 22, 2016; it may be further altered if new evidence appears on the effects / consequences of Zika virus Infection in pregnant women and their children. New updates may also be found regularly at www.paho.org/viruszika. (Excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2016 May 30.  p. (WHO/ZIKV/MOC/16.1 Rev.1)This document is an update of guidance published on 18 February 2016 to provide advice on the prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus.The primary transmission route of Zika virus is via the Aedes mosquito. However, mounting evidence has shown that sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible and more common than previously assumed. This is of concern due to an association between Zika virus infection and adverse pregnancy and fetal outcomes, including microcephaly, neurological complications and Guillain-Barre syndrome. The current evidence base on Zika virus remains limited. This guidance will be reviewed and the recommendations updated as new evidence emerges.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2016 May 13.  p. (WHO/ZIKV/MOC/16.2 Rev.1)The mosquito vector that carries the Zika virus thrives in warm climates and particularly in areas of poor living conditions. Pregnant women living in or travelling to such areas are at equal risk as the rest of the population of being infected by viruses borne by this vector. Maternal infection with Zika virus may go unnoticed as some people will not develop symptoms. Although Zika virus infection in pregnancy is typically a mild disease, an unusual increase in cases of congenital microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome and other neurological complications in areas where outbreaks have occurred, has significantly raised concern for pregnant women and their families, as well as health providers and policy-makers. The aim of this document is to provide interim guidance for interventions to reduce the risk of maternal Zika virus infection and to manage potential complications during pregnancy. This guidance is based on the best available research evidence and covers areas prioritized by an international, multidisciplinary group of health care professionals and other stakeholders. Specifically, it presents guidance for preventing Zika virus infection; antenatal care and management of women with infection; and care during pregnancy for all pregnant women living in affected areas, with the aim of optimizing health outcomes for mothers and newborns. The guidance is intended to inform the development of national and local clinical protocols and health policies that relate to pregnancy care in the context of Zika virus transmission. It is not intended to provide a comprehensive practical guide for the prevention and management of Zika virus.
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 2016 Jun 9.  p.As of 8 June 2016, 60 countries and territories report continuing mosquito-borne transmission of which: 46 countries are experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015, with no previous evidence of circulation, and with ongoing transmission by mosquitos. 14 countries reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, with ongoing transmission. In addition, four countries or territories have reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, without ongoing transmission: Cook Islands, French Polynesia, ISLA DE PASCUA -Chile and YAP (Federated States of Micronesia). Ten countries have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission of Zika virus, probably via a sexual route. In the week to 8 June 2016, no new country reported mosquito-borne or person-to-person Zika virus transmission. As of 8 June 2016, microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection have been reported by eleven countries or territories. Three of those reported microcephaly borne from mothers with a recent travel history to Brazil (Slovenia, United States of America) and Colombia (Spain), for one additional case the precise country of travel in Latin America is not determined. In the context of Zika virus circulation, 13 countries and territories worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases. As of 8 June, Cabo Verde has reported a total of six cases of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities with serological indication of previous Zika infection. Based on research to date, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and GBS. The global Strategic Response Framework launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2016 encompasses surveillance, response activities and research. An interim report has been published on some of the key activities being undertaken jointly by WHO and international, regional and national partners in response to this public health emergency. A revised strategy for the period July 2016 to December 2017 is currently being developed with partners and will be published in mid-June. WHO has developed new advice and information on diverse topics in the context of Zika virus. WHO’s latest information materials, news and resources to support corporate and programmatic risk communication, and community engagement are available online. (Excerpt)
[Geneva, Switzerland], International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 2016 Feb 29.  p.This document is an emergency plan of action created by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for the country of Honduras. The document includes a situational analysis of the Zika emergency in Honduras and an operational strategy and plan to combat the outbreak.
Washington, D.C., PAHO, 2017. 38 p.This document provides technical content on ZIKV, its manifestations, complications, modes of transmission, and prevention measures to be used in answering frequently asked questions and conveying messages in information and communication materials, community talks, press conferences, etc. Recommendations for the preparation of risk communication and action plans to respond to ZIKV are included. This guide to activities and recommendations for managing risk communication on ZIKV is designed for spokespersons, health authorities and health workers, other sectors, and partners inside and outside the health sector to assist them in tailoring communication initiatives to the needs of each country and target audience. The elimination of mosquito breeding sites remains the most important strategy for the prevention and control of ZIKV (as well as dengue and chikungunya) infection. Therefore, communication plans for the response to ZIKV should include intersectoral action and community engagement to modify behaviors and encourage sustained practices to eliminate breeding sites and control the mosquito, as well as to inform and educate target audiences about the steps they can take to prevent ZIKV transmission. The fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations agreed that, “due to continuing geographic expansion and considerable gaps in understanding of the virus and its consequences, Zika virus infection and its associated congenital malformations and other related neurological disorders, ZIKV continues to be a public health emergency of intenational concern.