INFORMATION ON ZIKA VIRUS

Dear delegates,

Due to growing media scrutiny, you are probably aware of the situation with Zika virus by now. Although its scope is truly global, it has most recently been linked to Latin America including Brazil.

We at the IHPBA, AHPBA and Local Organizing Groups are keenly aware of the concerns you may have about this subject, and we have been working to provide the best factual knowledge to you (see links below). The best, accurate medical information about Zika is that it is a virus transmitted by mosquito bites which causes a mild, self-limited illness in the vast majority of those affected. The exception is that there is a suspected association with microcephaly for babies born to women who have been inoculated - most evident in the rural, northeastern reaches of Brazil, over 2000 miles from Sao Paulo. There is no credible evidence that this is transmitted through casual or physical contact otherwise. We would also indicate that it would be highly unlikely to come in contact with mosquitos at our meeting, in that it will be held in a climate-controlled hotel in a modern, upscale aspect of Sao Paulo. There have been no known cases of transmission within Sao Paulo.

We feel it is in your best interest to have access to the most accurate and objective medical information about this, as opposed to sensationalized media coverage or personal rumors. As such, we provide you with links below that clarify the situation from credible medical and public health perspectives. We will, of course, update you should there be any change in status.

Given the medical facts available to us, we are convinced that our Congress can be conducted in a safe manner.

Luiz Carneiro, MD – Local Organizing Committee Chair
Palepu Jagannath, MD – President of the IHPBA
Javier Lendoire, MD – President of the AHPBA

CDC advisory: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/s0315-zika-virus-travel.html

WHO PAHO FAQs: http://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91

Thank you to all of the messages of support from our faculty. Professor Jacques Belghiti, last year’s recipient of the IHPBA Distinguished Service Award, sums up for all: “I will attend and encourage all my colleagues to go to Sao Paulo. Best wishes for a superb congress with a huge number of participants”.

WHO Report 19-02-2016
WHO Report 04-03-2016