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WHO: Zika No Longer a World Health Emergency (usatoday.com) 54

The mosquito-borne Zika virus that causes microcephaly and other birth defects is no longer a world health emergency, according to the World Health Organization. It is a virus that requires a long-term approach. USA Today reports: By downgrading the emergency status for Zika, the organization will now shift to a longer-term approach for fighting the virus that has spread across Latin America, the Caribbean and beyond. Zika was also found in parts of the Miami area. The virus "is not going away," WHO said on Twitter. "Countries need to be prepared and strengthen detection and prevention, as well as care and support for people." Nearly 30 countries have reported birth defects linked to the virus. WHO, which designated the health emergency in February, says more than 2,100 cases of nervous-system malformations have been reported in Brazil alone. The virus continues to spread geographically to areas where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are established, the organization noted. Most people who are infected by the virus do not get sick, but can suffer fever, rash and joint pain. The virus, however, can cause birth defects, including microcephaly, in which infants are born with abnormally small heads and incomplete brain development.
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WHO: Zika No Longer a World Health Emergency

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  • Question: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Futurepower(R) ( 558542 ) <MJennings.USA@NOT_any_of_THISgmail.com> on Friday November 18, 2016 @11:58PM (#53320151) Homepage
    If someone is infected by Zika and returns to health, can that person still infect others? Nothing I've read about Zika answers that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes.

      People with symptomatic illness have transmitted Zika before they had symptoms, while they had symptoms, and after symptoms resolved.
      http://www.cdc.gov/zika/hc-pro... [cdc.gov]

  • Zika already mutated to become an STD but it could easily mutate to become more infectious and be less noticeable by the host. My fear is that it will become even more prevalent as HPV but will go completely unnoticed until several women in the next generation start having children with defects. This scenario would be devastating for all mankind.

    • and more afraid of numskulls who don't understand science and disaster response and will take this to mean Zika was never a threat. A lot of stuff about the coming US Presidential Administration scares me but the thought of Trump putting cronies in charge of this sort of thing instead of experts is pants shittingly terrifying...
      • Sorry, but you asked for this one: if you're afraid of numbskulls, Zika should scare you very badly indeed.

    • Would you describe the flu as an STD, because you can transmit it by swapping spit with a partner while shagging them? Or would flu remain a droplet transmission disease to which you've identified a possible sexual method of transmission.

      I thought that "STDs" are diseases whose main method of transmission is through sexual routes, which has never been the case for Zika. By your criterion, Ebola is also an STD because cases have been reported of it's sexual transmission months after the infection source had

  • Did they ever find out if there was any validity to the claim that Zika has been around for a long time but only recently is being accused of causing birth defects when in reality it's some pesticide or something?
    • I think the potential victims of such a line of inquiry have a pretty solid handle on the media and have shut that story down hard.

      If it really was a story, stay tuned, the news will come out in 11 years or so...

  • Zika is mainly spread by mosquito isn't it?

    I am sure the blizzard we had yesterday took out all the remaining mosquitos around here.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Zika is mainly spread by mosquito isn't it?

      I am sure the blizzard we had yesterday took out all the remaining mosquitos around here.

      The WHO considers this to be the case, yes. However, Zika is an STD as well, but the WHO considers that a lowered risk - after all, everyone practices safe sex, uses condoms, and abstinence, right?

  • It's incredible how misleading this headline is. Technical terminology confuses the lay public once again.

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