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Transmission of Zika Virus - Haiti, October 12, 2015-September 10, 2016.

Zika virus disease is caused by infection with a flavivirus with broad geographic distribution and is most frequently transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. The disease was first identified in the World Health Organization's Region of the Americas in 2015 and was followed by a surge in reported cases of congenital microcephaly in Brazil; Zika virus disease rapidly spread to the rest of the region and the Caribbean (1), including Haiti. Infection with the virus is associated with adverse fetal outcomes (1) and rare neurologic complications in adults. The magnitude of public health issues associated with Zika virus led the World Health Organization to declare the Zika virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on February 1, 2016 (2). Because many persons with mild Zika virus disease are asymptomatic and might not seek care, it is difficult to estimate the actual incidence of Zika virus infection. During October 12, 2015-September 10, 2016, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population [MSPP]) detected 3,036 suspected cases of Zika virus infection in the general population, 22 suspected cases of Zika virus disease among pregnant women, 13 suspected cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and 29 suspected cases of Zika-associated congenital microcephaly. Nineteen (0.6%) patients with suspected Zika virus disease, residing in Ouest (10 patients), Artibonite (six), and Centre (three) administrative departments,* have been confirmed by laboratory testing, including two among pregnant women and 17 in the general population. Ongoing laboratory-enhanced surveillance to monitor Zika virus disease in Haiti is important to understanding the outbreak and ensuring effective response activities.

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