“Did it come as a surprise when you learned that Donald Trump trumped Hillary Clinton to win the United States presidential election? It didn’t to us—and we have Zika to prove it.
“The World Health Organization recently announced that the spread of Zika virus, along with related clusters of microcephaly and neurological disorders, is no longer a ‘public health emergency of international concern.’ So ends nearly a year of worry since WHO made that global headline-grabbing declaration. Or does it?
“Given that Zika has spread to more than 50 countries, it would appear to come as good news that WHO ‘downgraded’ the status of virus from a public health emergency. It would also appear that the ringing of bells by health professionals, including those who went so far as to suggest postponing or moving the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, was unnecessarily alarmist. Scanning the headlines and what is trending on social media, it would simply appear that all of those worries about people getting infected by virus-carrying mosquitoes weren’t worth all of the fuss.
“If only that were the case.
“In reality, there is a huge misunderstanding about the spread of Zika and the WHO view of it. To see that, though, requires reading beyond the headlines and the crazed hashtags.”
“The WHO announcement does not have much to recommend about the threat of Zika being over and done with. What the announcement says is that the spread of Zika is still a public health problem. But, because the virus is now endemic in several geographical locations and because emergency funding is set to run out after a period of six to 12 months, WHO needs to pivot to allocate funds from other sources to address the long-term impact of the virus across the globe.”