Brazil ends Zika virus public health emergency

Washington Wizards guard John Wall shoots between Boston Celtics forward Amir Johnson centre right and forward Jae Crowder foreground right

From January through mid-April, the Health Ministry recorded 95 percent fewer cases than during the same period previous year. The disease, which is linked to birth defects, has killed 260 newborns and apparently caused microcephaly in 2,200 babies. Not every mosquito carries Zika; generally, transmission occurs after a mosquito has bitten an infected person. Zika virus is not known to be circulating in the mosquito population in Kentucky now.

The Guardian reports that during the 2016 Olympics, the threat of the Zika virus was at its peak.

Zika, first recorded in humans in the 1950s, is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and spread from Uganda through Africa, Asia, the Pacific and onwards to South America.

Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby's head is smaller than expected when compared to those of the same sex and age.




The decision to end the state of emergency evaluates four aspects: the impact on public health, the uncommon or unexpected nature of the virus, if there is a risk for global contagion, and if there is a significant need for restrictions on worldwide commerce or travel. A pregnant woman can pass Zika to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued warnings for pregnant women, or those planning to conceive, against traveling to affected places. The larger risk is for pregnant women as their infection can lead to microcephaly and other conditions in fetuses, sometimes leading to death.

But the World Health Organisation has warned that Zika is "here to stay", even when cases of it fall off, and that fighting the disease will be an ongoing battle.

US women traveling to areas where the Zika virus is circulating might be less likely to be infected than expected, but risk remains, a new study suggests.

Though the accomplishment is cause for celebration, Brazilian officials say that they will not forget about the thousands of citizens who have already been affected by the virus, and they will continue fighting it until it is handled in its entirety.

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