Short notes

Brazil: Floods in Pernambuco and Alagoas
Created: 08/06/2017 +


In the last week of May, heavy rainfall and flooding were registered across the states of Pernambuco (PE) and Alagoas (AL) in northern Brazil. In Pernambuco, 24 out of 185 municipalities have declared state of emergency: 55,000 have been displaced and up to 2.2 million temporarily affected by damage to WASH infrastructure. In Alagoas, the highest estimates are of 16,000 people (4,000 families) displaced and 27 out of 102 municipalities in state of emergency, including the capital. As of 6 June, localised rains were still expected in Pernambuco but the overall level of rainfall for both states should decrease significantly.

Brazil Yellow Fever
Created: 01/02/2017 +



Between 1 December 2016 and 31 January 2017 651 suspected cases and 127 confirmed cases of yellow fever have been reported in Brazil. Of all reported cases, 125 have resulted in deaths. This outbreak is the worst to affect the country since 1980.


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Briefing notes

Latina America and Caribbean: Zika Virus Epidemic
Created: 18/03/2016 +


The Zika virus epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean is most affecting Brazil, with over one million cases estimated. Colombia reports over 18,000 confirmed and 2,000 suspected cases and anticipates over 650,000. El Salvador reports over 6,000 suspected cases. Venezuela reports over 4,500 confirmed cases, however unofficial estimates are thought to be as high as 400,000. 

An alert to the first confirmed case of Zika virus in Brazil was issued in May 2015 by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). As of 1 February, Zika has been confirmed in 23 countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean. The spread of the disease is likely to continue as the vector species, the Aedes mosquito, is widely distributed in the region. 

On 1 February 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika a public health emergency, following a significant increase in the number of reported cases since the start of the year. The last time WHO declared a global health emergency was during the Ebola outbreak. The current Zika outbreak is unlikely to present a crisis of the same scale; the declaration has been issued to fast-track aid and further research, particularly due to a potential link with neurological disorders and congenital birth defects.