Zika virus Brazil reverses the national emergency

Zika virus Brazil reverses the national emergency / Health News
Cases of new infections have fallen dramatically
In Brazil, the number of new Zika infections has declined sharply and only very rare life-threatening malformations (microcephaly) in infants occur. For this reason, the Brazilian Ministry of Health has now declared the national emergency due to the infectious disease to be over. Accordingly, there were only just over 7,900 new cases in the first months of the year, compared with 170,000 new cases in the same period last year.

18 months national emergency
The Brazilian Ministry of Health has lifted the national emergency due to Zika infection after 18 months. As the ministry currently reports, only 7,911 new infections were registered from January to mid-April. In 2016, there were still 170,535 reports in the same period, corresponding to a drop of 95.3 percent, according to the ministry's announcement.

In Brazil, the national health emergency was lifted because of the Zika virus. (Image: tacio philip / fotolia.com)

Accordingly, cases of microcephaly have also fallen drastically since 2016. From the expert's point of view, the massive decline in infections could be due to the fact that once infected persons can not be infected again.

Monitoring or support will be continued
Despite the state of emergency, cases of known infections continue to be investigated, as well as continuing to provide assistance to affected individuals. "The end of the emergency does not mean the end of surveillance or support," said a spokeswoman for the ministry. Zika, dengue and Chikungunya fever would be further contained. "The main thing to avoid cases of the three diseases is the fight against the mosquito Aedes aegypti," said the spokeswoman.

More than a million diseases
The Zika epidemic was rampant in 2015 and 2016 in parts of Central and South America. Brazil was considered the country hardest hit, with an estimated one million people infected with the virus. In February 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global emergency, which was lifted in November last year. Nevertheless, the virus continued to be a threat.

To contain the epidemic, Brazil even used military force to fight the dangerous Zika mosquitoes. US scientists also developed several promising vaccines against the dangerous Zika virus, which have been successfully tested on monkeys.

Influenza symptoms and skull malformations
The Zika virus (ZIKV) was first isolated from a rhesus monkey in Uganda in 1947 at a research station in Uganda. The carrier is above all the Egyptian tiger mosquito (Aedes aegypti), which can also transmit the yellow and dengue fever. Frequently, the infection is without symptoms, in other cases occur a few days after the onset of fever, joint and headache, weakness, itchy rash and conjunctivitis.

Scientists were also able to prove a connection of infections with skull malformations in babies. In so-called microcephaly, children are born with an extremely small head, which can mean brain malformations and mental disabilities. In addition, the virus can trigger a severe nervous disorder called "Guillain-Barré Syndrome". (No)