The World Health Organization called an emergency meeting to discuss the explosive spread of the Zika Virus and its possible link to thousands of birth defects in Latin America.
Today at the committee meeting, the WHO Director General, Margret Chan, expressed the organizations high level of concern and outlined four main reasons for alarm when it comes to the Zika VIRUS.
Since the arrival of the virus has been associated with a steep increase in the birth of babies with Microcephaly, or born with abnormally small heads, it has prompted governments across the world to advise pregnant women against going to the areas where the virus has been detected.
Also discussed at the meeting was the possible increase in the populations of vector carrying mosquitos due weather patterns that are expected to be warmer.
The report also made mention of the fact that a safe and effective Zika vaccine will not be available anytime this year and probably not in the next few years, which raises high level of concern for females who are pregnant or may become pregnant.
For all these reasons, many alarming, Chan announced at the briefing that an emergency committee under the international health regulations will be held on Monday with members of the organization. The meeting will serve to discuss the appropriate level of international concern and to discuss possible measures of prevention that can be followed by countries where the virus is present.
As the Zika Virus raises alarm in the world scene, here in Belize concern has also been raised. In an interview with the Amandala newspaper, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services, explained that no cases have been confirmed in Belize, because since a Zika infection may only cause mild symptoms in some persons, such as a mild fever and rash, it may go unreported and undiagnosed—particularly since there is no facility to test it in Belize.
Today the Pharmacy Association of Belize issued an informative flyer on the Zika virus. The flyer includes basic information on the virus like signs and symptoms, how it is transmitted and some treatments. Most importantly the flyer highlighted some prevention methods: Avoid Mosquito bites; use mosquito repellant and wear protective clothing, also it is important to avoid the reproduction of mosquitos in or around your yard; empty drains and anything that keeps water stagnant, also try to mow lawns at least once a week and the public is strongly advised top keep windows and doors open when the Ministry of Health passes around spraying.
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