Global & Disaster Medicine

The WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee will meet on Monday 1 February in Geneva to ascertain whether the Zika Virus outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

WHO

WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO) has been working closely with affected countries since May 2015. PAHO has mobilized staff and members of the Global Outbreak and Response Network (GOARN) to assist ministries of health in strengthening their abilities to detect the arrival and circulation of Zika virus through laboratory testing and rapid reporting. The aim has been to ensure accurate clinical diagnosis and treatment for patients, to track the spread of the virus and the mosquito that carries it, and to promote prevention, especially through mosquito control.

The Organization is supporting the scaling up and strengthening of surveillance systems in countries that have reported cases of Zika and of microcephaly and other neurological conditions that may be associated with the virus. Surveillance is also being heightened in countries to which the virus may spread. In the coming weeks, the Organization will convene experts to address critical gaps in scientific knowledge about the virus and its potential effects on fetuses, children and adults.

WHO will also prioritize the development of vaccines and new tools to control mosquito populations, as well as improving diagnostic tests.

 

PAHO Director’s Statement on Zika Virus in the Americas at the 138th WHO Executive Board

 


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