Zika virus was confirmed in Brazil in May 2015, and soon spread throughout the Americas.
The virus, which is most commonly spread through being bitten by an infected mosquito, can cause infant microcephaly, a condition where babies are born with abnormally small heads.
- By August 2016, 45 countries and territories in the Americas had confirmed cases of Zika infection.
- Zika infection was also reported in pregnant women in 18 countries and territories in the Americas.
- According to the Brazil Ministry of Health, between 22 October 2015 and 26 March of 2016, there were 6,776 suspected cases of microcephaly or other nervous system defects in newborns reported.
What we achieved
- Along with our partners, we were among the first to respond to the Zika outbreak.
- In 2016, we worked in rural schools and communities, in El Salvador, Brazil, and Bolivia, to promote safer practices and awareness raising, and counter the spread of Zika.
- Our work has focused on preventing the spread of infection via mosquito bites, and has particularly targeted women who are pregnant or of childbearing age.