WHO declares global health emergency over Zika virus
Zika virus, a disease that is linked to the thousands of birth defects in Brazil, has been declared a global health emergency by WHO according to Reuters
The declaration, coming only as the fourth to the three times WHO has taken such action was announced on Monday. The International organization declared the virus and its implications in newborns a public health emergency. This paves way for consolidated funding with the sole aim of fighting against the mosquito-bred pathogen that is spreading undeterred through America.
The virus, first discovered over 50 years ago, has caused new alarm in health officials following the suspicion of its linkage to the thousands of reported cases of microcephaly in newborns, as reported by Margaret Chan, the Director General for WHO. According to WHO estimates, the virus could spread to a better part of the hemisphere infecting almost 4 million people by the year end.
Chan also expressed the need for utmost concern since this was the first time America was being infected yet still there is lack of vaccines and rapid, reliable diagnostic tests, as well as the absence of any viral immunity. Adults previously diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome bore the possibility of having Zika
When interviewed by the Reuters news agency, Brazilian Heath Minister Marcelo Castro admitted that the outbreak is his country was far much worse than was previously believed, citing a larger majority of the infected people exhibited no known symptoms
Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas thinks that Zika may even be harder to defeat than Ebola. His argument is that, while Ebola could be controlled via isolation of victims and conducting safe burials, Zika is likely to spread throughout the entire Western Zone affecting millions of people. Ebola affected about 30,000 people in only four West African countries.