Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive – mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin in 2016

WHO Declares Microcephaly Cluster a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’

Posted by feww on February 2, 2016

Experts ‘strongly suspect’ causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly

WHO convened an Emergency Committee, under the International Health Regulations, to gather advice on the severity of the health threat associated with the continuing spread of Zika virus disease in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Some 18 experts and advisers assessed “the strong association, in time and place, between infection with the Zika virus and a rise in detected cases of congenital malformations and neurological complications,” and agreed that a causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not yet scientifically proven, said WHO in a statement posted online.

After a review of the evidence, the Committee advised that the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil, following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014, constitutes an “extraordinary event” and a public health threat to other parts of the world.

Members of the Committee agreed that “a coordinated international response was needed to minimize the threat in affected countries and reduce the risk of further international spread,” and that the “situation meets the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” said WHO.

“I am now declaring that the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil, following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014, constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” said WHO Director-General.

WHO did not elaborate as to why the Committee had “found no public health justification for restrictions on travel or trade to prevent the spread of Zika virus.”

Countries that have past or current evidence of Zika virus transmission

AFRICA: Angola*, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt*, Ethiopia*, Gabon, Gambia*, Kenya*, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone*, Somalia*, Tanzania*, Uganda and Zambia*.

AMERICAS: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Venezuela.

OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

ASIA: Cambodia, India*, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan*, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam*.

[*For these countries, the only evidence of Zika virus transmission is from studies that detected Zika virus antibodies in healthy people.  These studies cannot determine where the people were infected or if they were infected with Zika virus because the antibodies may have resulted from infections with other closely related viruses, such as dengue virus.]

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