1. WHO declared Public Health Emergency of International Concern over Zika virus outbreak
i. World Health Organisation (WHO) on 1 February 2016 declared Public Health Emergency of International Concern over the explosive spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is linked to birth defects in the Americas.
ii. The UN health agency convened an emergency meeting of independent experts in Geneva to assess the outbreak of the virus. The meeting was convened after noting a suspicious link between Zika’s arrival in Brazil in 2015 and a surge in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads.
iii. This was the first meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR 2005).
iv. Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus, transmitted by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti. In case of humans, the virus cases mild illness known as Zika fever (Zika or Zika disease). It has been occurring since the 1950s within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia.
v. In 2014, the virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia, then to Easter Island and in 2015 to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the Zika outbreak has reached pandemic levels.
vi. Earlier in last week of January 2016, WHO estimated that there could be up to 4 million cases of Zika in Americas by 2017 but no recommendations didn’t issued travel restriction or trade.