Zika Virus Outbreak as International Emergency as Declared by WHO


Zika virus has declared as an international public health emergency over the explosive spread of the mosquito-borne by World Health Organization (WHO). After emergency meeting conducted by WHO for independent experts headed by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan at Geneva, Switzerland.

  • The meeting was conducted to measure the outbreak of the virus which is linked to birth defects in the Americas.

Key facts:

  • The meaning of Deceleration of international emergency is that there is underscoring importance of outbreak and requirements of a synchronized global response and greater attention to stop it.
  • WHO has forecasted that about four million people might be sick with Zika virus in the Americas (South and North America).
  • And WHO has declared an international public health emergency for the forth time.
  • Previously, the first emergency was declared after the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009.
  • In 2014, the UN Health agency had declared two emergencies for the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa and a resurgence of polio in Syria and other countries.

About Zika virus:

“Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes”.

It is close companion of other vector-borne sicknesses like:

  • Dengue,
  • Chikungunya and
  • Yellow Fever.

It was first recognize in 1947 in Uganda.

It was named from Zika Forest.


It is mainly transmitted by daytime-active Aedes aegypti mosquitoes after it bites someone infected with the virus and transmit it by biting another human, but it still not contagious.

Most common symptoms:

  • Headache,
  • muscle and joint pain,
  • mild fever,
  • rash,
  • pinkeye and
  • Inflammation of the underside of the eyelid.

It also causes neurological disorders and foetal deformation called Microcephaly.

Treatment and Prevention:

  • Currently, there is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available for its prevention.
  • But for prevention, try to get protection against mosquito bites and clearing stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.

- Published/Last Modified on: February 2, 2016