Friday, May 12, 2017

Brazil declares end to Zika emergency

Brazil's government has declared an end to a national emergency over the Zika virus detected late in 2015 before becoming a global concern.

Brazil has informed the World Health Organization, citing "the decrease in cases of Zika and microcephaly throughout the country," the health ministry said in a statement.

The health ministry said that from January to April this year there had been 7,911 Zika cases, 95.3% down on the same period in 2016 when there were 170,535 cases.

In November last year the WHO had lifted its own international health emergency status for Zika, which can cause babies to be born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads.

Brazilian health ministry official Adeilson Cavalcante said "the end of the emergency does not signify the end of being vigilant and providing assistance."

Measures to reduce the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which carry the Zika virus, as well as dengue and chikungunya, will remain in place.

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