Epidemiological Updates of Zika Transmission and Emphasizing the Critical Role of Public Health Interventions

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.05.01.Art011

Authors : Soosanna Kumary, Vijay KumarChattu


Since the start of Zika epidemic this year, till date there are more than 45 countries with active Zika virus transmission. Considering its spread at an alarming rate with large clusters of microcephaly and neurological complications, the Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) under the International Health Regulations (IHR) announced that Zika constitutes Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on February 1, 2016. Countries in Central America and South America show a decreasing trend of cases where as there is an increasing number of cases in USA and some Caribbean states. Recently after careful review of the existing evidence the scientists at CDC concluded that Zika virus causes Microcephaly a condition in which the size of baby’s brain and head is smaller than the normally expected. For planning more effective disease control and prevention activities for Zika fever there is great need for a functional and intensified Public Health Surveillance system Preparedness for the prevention and control of Zika virus infection. Risk communications should be enhanced in countries with Zika virus transmission to address population concerns, enhance community engagement, improve reporting, and ensure application of vector control and personal protective measures. Vector control measures and appropriate personal protective measures should be aggressively promoted and implemented to reduce the risk of exposure to Zika virus. Attention should be given to women of childbearing age and particularly pregnant women so that they have the necessary information and materials to reduce risk of exposure

Keywords: Zika virus, Public Health Emergency of International Concern, International Health Regulations, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Microcephaly, Vector control


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