The World Health Organization has declared the Zika Virus an international health emergency.
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus. It is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito is commonly known as the Yellow Fever mosquito for it’s ability to cause Yellow fever. The mosquito originated in Africa but can be found in tropical and sub tropical regions of the world.
The Zika virus is reportedly in more than 20 countries and territories in the Americas. The virus which has an adverse effect on pregnant women has no cure or vaccine at the moment. Pregnant women who are infected by this virus usually give birth to children with microcephaly that is, a neurological condition whereby babies develop small heads. This link however has not been officially proven but scientists strongly believe it is valid.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan said at a news conference in Geneva, “After a review of the evidence, the committee advised that the clusters of microcephaly and other neurological complications constitute an extraordinary event and public health threat to other parts of the world,” She also added that, “an international response is needed to minimize the threat in infected countries and reduce risk of international spread.”
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“I am now declaring that the recent cluster of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities reported in Latin America following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014 constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.”
The World Health Organization took a blow for not alerting the world on the gruesomeness of Ebola and it seems to making amends by declaring the Zika virus a cause for International concern. Due to the rampant spread of the pandemic, the WHO is gravely concerned about the virus that it has put it in the same category as Ebola. More than 4000 cases of microcephaly have been reported in Brazil since October, and WHO estimates about 4 million cases by the end of the year.
The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild and this might cause victims to be unaware of their contraction of the virus. The illness might last from a few days to a week. To know more about the virus; prevention, cure and symptoms, visit here.