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First International Workshop on Zika Virus Held by Oswaldo Cruz Foundation FIOCRUZ in Northeast Brazil March 2016: a meeting report

In the first two days of March 2016, an International Workshop on Zika Virus was held in the city of Recife, Brazil, hosted by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz). The workshop took place at the Research Institute Aggeu Magalhaes (IAM), the state of Pernambuco research branch of Fiocruz, responsible for hosting the meeting and its organization. Representatives from several institutions working on Zika virus science attended, including researchers and academics from several other Fiocruz research entities (based in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Bahia), from major Brazilian Universities (University of Sao Paulo, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and others) and from other Brazilian research centers (such as the Evandro Chagas Institute—IEC). Foreign participants included representatives from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases NIAID-USA and the University of Glasgow, among others. The Workshop brought together more than 600 participants and was accessible, live, through the web (over four thousand accessions from 26 countries). The purpose of the meeting was to provide an updated view on Zika virus in Brazil and to discuss recent advances and challenges on its research. With the recent Zika virus outbreak in Northeast Brazil and especially the remarkable increase in newborns suffering a congenital disorder termed microcephaly—a rare neurological condition in which an infant's head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age—recently linked to Zika virus infection during pregnancy [1–5], the Brazilian public health authorities declared a National Public Health Emergency on Nov 11, 2015. This was followed by the recognition by the World Health Organization—WHO, on February 1, 2016, of the cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders as a health emergency, declaring a Global Emergency and the spread of the Zika virus an “extraordinary event” with a public health threat to other parts of the world.

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  • Franca, Rafael F. O.
  • Neves, Maria Helena L.
  • Ayres, Constancia F. Junqueira
  • Melo-Neto, Osvaldo P.
  • Brandão Filho, Sinval P.