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Brazil announces end to Zika public health emergency

Fall in cases brings culminate to the emergency 18 several months after the virus made headlines around the world

Brazil has declared an intention to its public health emergency over the Zika virus, 18 several months after a surge in cases drew headlines around the world.

The mosquito-borne virus was not considered a major health menace until the 2015 outbreak been demonstrated that Zika can lead to severe birth defects. One of those imperfections, microcephaly, causes children to be born with skulls much smaller than expected.

Photos of babies with the shortcoming spread panic around the globe as the virus was reported in dozens of countries. Many would-be travellers cancelled their journeys to Zika-infected regions. The pertain spread even more widely when health officials said it could also be transmitted through sex linked with an infected person.

The health scare reached just as Brazil, the epicentre of the outbreak, was preparing to host the 2016 Olympics, fuelling concerns the Games could help spread the virus. One contestant, a Spanish breeze surfer, said she got Zika while trained in Brazil ahead of the Games.

In response to the outbreak, Brazil launched a mosquito-eradication campaign. The health ministry said those efforts had been instrumental in dramatically reduce cases of Zika. Between January and mid-April, 95% fewer suits were registered than during the same period last year. The prevalence of microcephaly has fallen as well.

The World Health Organization( WHO) lifted its own international emergency in November, even while announcing the virus remained a threat.

The end of the emergency doesnt mean the end of surveillance or assistance to affected families, said Adeilson Cavalcante, the secretary for health surveillance at Brazils health ministry. The health ministry and two organizations involved in this area will maintain a plan of fighting Zika, dengue and chikungunya.

All three cancers are carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

But the WHO has warned that Zika is here to stay, even when cases of it are falling, and that fighting the disease will be an ongoing battle.

Read more: http :// www.theguardian.com/ us

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