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.
Stay updated on the Zika virus while traveling and continue to take precautions.
Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.