WHO declares Zika virus a global health emergency

In the past few weeks the global community has been shocked by the never before imagined impacts and consequences of the Zika Virus.

The Zika virus, spread to people through mosquito bites, was seen a mild flu-like virus, its most  common symptoms being fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. The symptoms are known too last from several days to a week with severe disease requiring hospitalization as uncommon. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. Due to the diseases mild symptoms, the action against the disease was mediocre at best. However recent studies of the the outbreak in Brazil, Zika infections in pregnancy are believed to increase the risk of a potentially devastating birth defect. Babies born with the condition — known as microcephaly — have smaller-than-normal heads and may have under-developed brains. Brazil, has reported a 20-fold rise in cases of microcephaly, beginning in October 2015. The World Health Organisation on Monday 1 February 2016 declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus to be a global emergency, as the disease linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil spreads rapidly.

For more information read the Mail&Guardian article here