Brazil Lifts Public Health Emergency as Zika Cases Drop

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Brazil on Thursday announced the end of its national Zika emergency, AP reported. This development is what prompted officials to declare an end to the public health emergency.

The Zika scare was at its peak before the Rio Olympics in 2016 with over 30 countries reporting cases of the virus.

All three diseases are carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which Brazil has been battling to eradicate to stop the spread of Zika.

By April 15, 7,911 cases of Zika had been registered across Brazil this year, compared to 170,535 cases throughout 2016. A ministry statement noted there were 7,911 reported cases in Brazil in 2017's first quarter, compared to 170,535 cases in the same time past year. State health workers collected and tested more than 20,000 Aedes albopictus mosquitoes in the last mosquito season and none were positive for Zika. The virus is to blame for a birth defect that causes a baby's head to be smaller than normal because the brain doesn't develop properly and children end up with smaller heads than normal. Even pregnant women were also recommended to avoid travelling affected areas. Microcephaly due to Zika infection can be found alone or in conjunction with other birth defects.

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While the mosquito-borne virus didn't post a threat in itself, possible correlations with birth defects caused a serious health alarm.

"Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito and is circulating in many areas of the world where Kentuckians travel for vacation, work and mission trips", said Dr. Ardis Hoven, infectious disease specialist for the Kentucky Department for Public Health. And, the World Health Organisation denounced their global emergency over the virus back in November 2016 so hopefully it'll continue to decrease across all regions.

"The important thing now is that we don't forget the victims", she added.

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