The World Health Organization has said that the Zika virus, which appeared last year and affected thousands of people, is no longer a global health emergency. The agency had declared a public health emergency months ago, when hundreds of Zika virus cases were still being reported.
The Zika virus, which began spreading in Brazil last year, has no treatment and even though the agency says it is no longer a public health emergency, they have also said that it still is a significant and enduring public health challenge. Thousands of Zika virus cases were reported in Brazil last year and in 2016. The Zika virus continued to spread to many other countries and experts even requested for the Rio 2016 Olympics to be moved or delayed.
The Zika virus disease can have symptoms like mild fever, headaches and muscle and joint pain. But the disease has also been linked to birth defects. One of the birth defects that the Zika virus has been linked to is microcephaly, a rare birth defect that causes a baby’s head to be small and not fully developed.
The Zika virus, which is mostly spread through mosquito bites, has no specific treatment and while in some cases there are no symptoms, the disease could be a problem for pregnant women because it may cause birth defects.
The World Health Organization declared nine months ago that the Zika virus was a public health emergency after microcephaly and cases of other birth defects began appearing. It was reported in April that the number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil linked to the Zika virus was at 4,908.
The Zika virus appeared in Brazil in early 2015 but it quickly spread to nearby countries. The disease has been linked to birth defects in more than 20 countries.
The World Health Organization announced this yesterday, nine months after declaring that the Zika virus was a public health emergency. This is good news but the agency has also said that the virus remains a threat.
The Zika virus, which was discovered in the Zika forest in Uganda almost 70 years ago, was largely unknown to the world until it began spreading last year. Experts are currently working to create a vaccine for the Zika virus.