Zika outbreak: what you need to know

Zika virus is a rapidly emerging vector-born flavivirus, with potential to spread to new areas where the vector Aedes mosquitos are present.

In May 2015, autothchronous circulation of Zika virus was confirmed in 2 Brazilian states. In October 2015, Brazilian health officials from the state of Pernambuco reported an unusual increase in the number of cases of microcephaly in newborns, and on 11 November 2015, the Ministry of Health declared a public health emergency, establishing an emergency operations centre and deploying surveillance and response teams. Zika virus is now confirmed to be circulating in 21 states, and is estimated to have infected between 440,000 to 1,300,000 people in Brazil in 2015.

As of 23 January 2016, 4,180 cases of microcephaly have been reported from 21 Brazilian states – more than a 20-fold increase compared to the average number of annual cases reported from 2010-2014.

Between 19 November 2015 and 19 January 2016, 23 countries reported autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Samoa, Suriname, Thailand and Venezuela.

New resources on iTunes U

There is never a wrong time to learn more about Malaria, particularly when you are working for xRapid. At the same time, iTunes U is an ideal vector for training our users and updating the resources made available to them. So, we are happy to announce that we have opened, together with Surya University, the xRapid & Malaria course, in both English and French.

You can subscribe to these courses in iTunes U at the following links:

French: https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/enroll/FNS-EWT-NXF
English: https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/enroll/FZA-DFN-ZLL
At the moment, you will find the protocols to make a thin or thick blood smears, all illustrated, together with the manual and app guides. We have also uploaded a presentation that was given at the 41st International Congress of Military Medicine (Bali, Indonesia, May 2015) by Prof. David Mendels, our CTO. iTunes U also features a forum, per course, which can be used to discuss some of the aspects of our technology.

We are currently organizing some of the important material we have gathered during the course of research and training on xRapid, so these iTunes U channels should be updated monthly. You will also find author-prepared preprints of scientific publications as soon as we can make them available to the general public.