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Published On: Tue, Feb 11th, 2014

Zika virus outbreak in the Pacific update

The mosquito borne viral disease, Zika fever, is making it’s second appearance as an outbreak in the Pacific since 2007, with the virus being seen in significant numbers in French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

New Caledonia Image/CIA

New Caledonia
Image/CIA

According to the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), since early October 2013, and as of 30 January 2013, 7,939 suspected cases of ZIKV infection were reported by the syndromic surveillance sentinel network of French Polynesia, of which 396 were confirmed by RT-PCR. It is estimated that more than 28,000 cases have sought medical care with Zika-like symptoms in French Polynesia since the beginning of the outbreak.

In New Caledonia, health authorities officially declared a ZIKV outbreak on 1 February 2014. Since 1 January and as of 2 February 2014, there are 44 confirmed ZIKV cases in the territory, 30 of which are imported and 14 are autochthonous cases.

New Caledonia has reported 16 dengue fever cases since the beginning of the year.

Since early November 2013, 70 cases presented with neurological or autoimmune complications of which 38 cases were with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). Sixteen of these patients required hospitalization in the intensive care unit

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued travel notices for both  French Overseas Territories in late January and early February.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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