Zika: International Public Health Emergency



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The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus and its suspected complications in newborns as a Public Health Emergency of international concern.

With this declaration, the WHO favors the mobilization of more resources and personnel to combat this pathogen transmitted by mosquitoes and to prevent its explosive spread.

The WHO has estimated that the virus will reach most of the hemisphere and infect up to 4 million people by the end of the year.

What is a Global Public Health Emergency?

The WHO defines it as “an extraordinary event that constitutes a risk to public health of other States through the international spread disease and requires a coordinated international response for stop the spread of the illness.

Previously, the WHO had only made three declarations of a global public health emergency: in2009 during the epidemic of H1N1 flu, may 2014 with for the reappearance of the poliomyelitis and more recently in 2014 with the Ebola.

The statement comes with a list of recommendations global standards for nations with respect to practical measures such as travel, trade, international borders, or areas of scientific research.

Keep reading:

  • Why is the Zika virus so dangerous for pregnant women?
  • How is Ebola spread?

Video: WHO declares Ebola international public health emergency


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