Zika Virus: Here to Stay
The United Nation's World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Zika virus is no longer a global health emergency, but a longer-term problem.
Zika, a mosquito-born virus that can cause birth defects in infants, remains an important concern, but is now classified among other mosquito-born maladies, such as malaria or yellow fever.
WHO's Emergency Committee (EC) on Zika originally recommended a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in February 2016. However, since research has demonstrated a link between the virus and birth defects, the EC felt that a long-term mechanism was now required to manage the global response.
Many aspects of the Zika virus remain to be understood, but the EC recommends that the research be escalated into a sustained program of work with dedicated resources to address the long-term nature of the disease and its associated consequences.
Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.