Brazil declares end to Zika emergency

Dhaka,  Thu,  27 July 2017
Published : 12 May 2017, 10:48:50
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Brazil declares end to Zika emergency

BBC
Brazil has declared an end to a national emergency over the Zika virus after a sharp decrease in cases.

The number of cases dropped 95 per cent between January and April, compared to the same period a year ago, officials said on Thursday.

The virus has been linked to the birth of babies with abnormally small heads. The threat was at its peak as Brazil prepared to host the 2016 Olympics.

The World Health Organization (WHO) lifted its own international emergency in November last year.

The Zika virus has been linked to severe birth defects in almost 30 countries.

Brazil had declared a national emergency in November 2015. The threat led to a campaign to eradicate the mosquitoes which carry the virus.

There were 7,911 cases of Zika from January to April this year, compared to 170,535 cases reported in the same time last year, the health ministry said in a statement (in Portuguese).

No deaths related to the virus have been reported this year, it added, saying that eight people died last year.

•    Although the virus is mostly spread by mosquitoes, it can also be sexually transmitted

•    Few people die from Zika and only one in five people infected is thought to develop symptoms. These can include fever, a rash, and joint pain

•    It was first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947. The first human case was detected in Nigeria in 1954 and there have been further outbreaks in Africa, South East Asia, and the Pacific Islands

•    But in May 2015 it was reported in Brazil and spread rapidly

•    As there is no treatment, the only option is to reduce the risk of being bitten
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