Zika Advisory

Currently:

  • Clinicians are reporting clinical cases believed to be ZIKV infections.
  • There has been a rise in number of reported Dengue-Like Illnesses from January 2016.
  • Local Laboratory testing shows a yield of at least 32% of positive DENV cases by rapid SD Duo test.
  • We continue to await Laboratory results for 20 specimen sent for ZIKV screening at ILM Lab in Tahiti.

WHO DECLARATION Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC): Microcephaly/ZIKV.

The WHO International Health Regulation Emergency Committee has met in Geneva and advised that the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurologic disorders reported in Brazil, following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014, constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Based on this advice the Director-General declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 1 February 2016 and endorsed the following committee recommendations to address the PHEIC (clusters of microcephaly and neurologic disorders) and their possible association with Zika virus.

What is Samoa doing?

ZIKV is a fairly new arboviral infection to this side of the world and new information about it, continues to unfold. As for any mosquito borne infection, if there is no mosquito, there will be no infection. For over two years, Public Health has been advocating “source reduction” as the mainstay of control for arboviral diseses. Other strategies are included below:

  • Ongoing Public Health prevention messages for multi-media campaign on source reduction  and destruction of mosquito breeding sites.
  • Ongoing Public Health vector surveillance & control programs
  • Ongoing Lab surveillance in collaboration with SPC/WHO and ILM Laboratory in the identification of outbreak diseases.
  • Ongoing discussions for enhanced surveillance for GBS and micro-cephaly in population and utilizing WHO and CDC USA clinical guidelines on ZIKV management
  • Ongoing Syndromic Sentinel Surveillance and Update Information
  • On-going CDC Committee meetings for outbreak management
  • An integrated Multi-Sectoral Vector Control Committee is embarking on a strategic plan
  • to engage community participation in the control of mosquito vector. The following are
  • included:
    • Government Ministries and other organizations to take up cost of chemical spraying in communities
    • Planning and implementing trainings for use of chemicals and fumigation equipment.
    • Targeted Chemical spraying for adult mosquito and Larvicidal means for mosquito control.
    • Ongoing Public Health monitoring and enforcing legal mandate by spot surveys of urban and targeted areas for rubbish management.
    • Seeking Political will for National Vector Control Day campaign.

Public Health Prevention:

Everyone is asked to educate themselves on ZIKV and avoid getting sick. This is especially focused on pregnant mothers and Ante-natal clinicians and staff are asked to take note and advice on ZIKV illness.

Prevent mosquito bites – by dress with long sleeves; use mosquito repellants and insecticide; screen houses and sleep in mosquito nets especially for babies, pregnant women, elderly and people with co-morbid conditions.

Source Reduction - by cleaning up your living environment/ destroying all mosquito breeding sites such as old tyres, plastic containers and bags, clear blocked gutters and remove standing water inside and outside homes.