WHO declares global health emergency as unborn babies at most risk of Zika virus


The World Health Organization (WHO) declares the Zika virus as a global health emergency. However, it found no public health justification yo impose restrictions on travel and trade.


Pregnant women should not travel to Zika virus-infected countries

The mosquito-bourne Zika virus has been linked to a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting unborn babies

The Zika virus has been around for years in South East Asia and Africa until recently when an alarming number of people has been reported to have been infected in Brazil and has spread to much of the Central and South American countries and the Caribbean. Pregnant women who are planning to travel are advised to avoid visiting these areas.

The illness that Zika virus causes is similar to a mild form of dengue fever called Zika fever. It cannot yet be prevented by any vaccine. Newborn babies of women who have been infected with Zika might develop a disorder called microcephaly.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Brazilian health authorities reported more than 3,500 microcephaly cases from October 2015 to January 2016.

Microcephaly is a condition wherein the brain and head do not fully develop.

The Zika virus is transmitted by daytime-active mosquitoes. It can migrate between humans through sexual contact and it can also cross the placenta, affecting an unborn fetus. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcephaly)

Zika virus explained

Will Zika virus be contained?

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