Brazil calls off Zika emergency

13 May, 2017, 01:59 | Author: Lorraine Moran
  • Brazil calls off Zika emergency

Brazil has declared an end to its public health emergency over the Zika virus.

There were 7,911 cases reported in this period, compared to 170,535 cases reported in the same time in 2016, it said.

An Omaha woman infected with the Zika virus while pregnant has delivered a healthy baby girl. The threat was at its peak as Brazil prepared to host the 2016 Olympics.

One of those defects, microcephaly, causes babies to be born with skulls much smaller than average.

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The World Health Organisation had already lifted its worldwide emergency over the virus on November 18 past year.

Said Adeilson Cavalcante, secretary for health surveillance at Brazil's health ministry, "The end of the emergency doesn't mean the end of surveillance or assistance" to those who are affected. The games were feared to further spread the virus, and countries around the world were reporting increased infections. It added that measures taken to control the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes had proved effective in combating not only Zika but also dengue fever and chikunguña.

US states have ramped up efforts to fight Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses as the warmer months approached. The Ministry of Health said those efforts have helped dramatically reduce cases of Zika.

Travel warnings issued by governments including the United Kingdom caused travellers, particularly pregnant women most at risk, to cancel trips to affected countries, while revelations Zika could be sexually transmitted heightened concern. The number of cases of microcephaly fell as well. Researchers writing in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases found that the Zika virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine - which was developed by a biotechnology company in the business of novel vaccine technology - found that the vaccine was well-tolerated and safe in mice infected with Zika.

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