WHO fears a severe health crisis if the zika expands beyond Latin America

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of the risk of a “severe public health crisis” in case the virus Zika extends beyond Latin America and the Caribbean and the suspicion that is responsible for confirming microcephaly and cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) said the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Margaret Chan, during the session of the Executive Board of WHO in Geneva.

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The threat refers of more to zika increases. In the last hours, the director general of WHO, Margaret Chan, has issued a warning and tried, once again set off the alarms about the danger involved in the spread of infection.

To date there has been scientifically without doubt check the relationship between infection with the virus and cases of fetal malformations and neurological disorders.

However, Chan said that “Circumstantial evidence is overwhelming”. Urgent action is needed to combat this health emergency should not wait for the final proof.

Yes it has been possible to demonstrate a “pattern” between infection zika and increased cases of SGB three weeks later.

In addition, the exponential increase in cases of microcephaly and other fetal malformations show a clear relationship.

That does not leave zika Latin America and Caribbean

“If this pattern is confirmed beyond Latin America and the Caribbean, the world will face a severe public health crisis,” said Chan.

That said, it has made ​​it clear that, based on current knowledge, “no one can predict” whether the Zika virus will spread to other parts of the planet and cause birth defects and neurological disorders.

Countries where attacks zika and microcephaly

To date it detected circulation of Zika virus in 38 countries and territories.

In the current outbreak, the presence of SGB is registered in 12 countries and cases of microcephaly only two officially Brazil and Panama.

In Colombia are suspected cases, but have not yet been officially confirmed by the authorities, while in Cape Verde WHO team is investigating a possible case of microcephaly linked to infection by zika.

Regarding Brazil, the WHO expert Anthony Costello has indicated that is suspected 6,480 cases of babies born with lower than average, which has been able to investigate thoroughly to 2,212 head circumference and of these, 863 suffer microcephaly .

“This means that 39 percent of the cases studied actually suffered malformation” detailed Costello, who stressed that this figure does not indicate the risk of developing the disease, but simply the positive proportion of the cases studied.

These figures make him fear that up to 2,527 Brazilian babies could suffer from microcephaly and other thousands also would suffer in other countries.

In fact, Costello recalled that it has been found that during the outbreak of zika in French Polynesia in 2013 increased twenty fold the number of cases of microcephaly.

More money for research

“The more we know, the situation is worse,” admitted Chan.

The Director General has tried to move away from alarmist “forecasts”, but has asked the international community for more support for research and the fight against the virus.

WHO estimates that globally needed 56 million dollars to fight this virus; has received only 3 million of the 25 requested, he added.

The vaccine take

Meanwhile, the scientific community tries to speed up the response to infection with different strategies, since there is consensus that a virus vaccine will take years to develop.

Currently, fourteen companies working in thirty projects on a possible vaccine.

However, what is most urgent is to develop a test for effective diagnosis and can spread the infection zika past or current infection with dengue and chikungunya, two diseases that also transmits the mosquito (vector) inoculating the zika, the Aedes aegypti.

Margaret Chan has confirmed that some thirty companies worldwide are developing diagnostic tests.

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