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WHO Panel Declares End To Zika As International Public Health Emergency; Agency Will Shift To Long-Term Strategy

CNN: WHO ends Zika public health emergency
“The Zika virus outbreak and related clusters of microcephaly are no longer a public health emergency of international concern, the World Health Organization said Friday…” (Goldschmidt, 11/18).

Deutsche Welle: WHO ends Zika global health emergency, moves to long-term response
“…But the United Nations health agency said the virus remained a serious problem which required a long-term approach…” (11/18).

Los Angeles Times: WHO lifts Zika emergency, but prepares for a long-term fight
“…That means the United Nations health agency will establish a long-term program to fight the virus responsible for thousands of cases of microcephaly and other neurological ailments…” (Kaplan, 11/18).

New York Times: Zika Is No Longer a Global Emergency, WHO Says
“…An agency advisory committee said it ended the emergency — formally known as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern — because Zika is now shown to be a dangerous mosquito-borne disease, like malaria or yellow fever, and should be viewed as an ongoing threat met as other diseases are, sometimes with WHO help…” (McNeil, 11/18).

NPR: Zika No Longer Global ‘Health Emergency,’ WHO Declares
“…One thing is clear: Zika is still spreading. And microcephaly cases are still growing. Argentina reported its first potential case this week. And Florida continues to find people who caught Zika inside the state…” (Doucleff, 11/18).

Reuters: WHO declares end of Zika emergency but says virus remains a threat
“…But some public health experts worried that losing the ‘international emergency’ label could slow research into the virus, which continues to cause infections in the United States and elsewhere…” (Nebehay/Steenhuysen, 11/19).

U.N. News Centre: Zika no longer an international public health emergency, but sustained response needed — U.N. health agency
“…WHO first declared Zika an international public health emergency in February. Since it was detected in Brazil late last year, the virus has spread through the Americas and the Caribbean to other regions, including Africa, Oceania, and Asia…” (11/19).

Wall Street Journal: Zika Emergency Lifted as World Health Organization Shifts to Long-Term Approach
“…The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Zika will remain at the agency’s highest emergency level. The agency activated its emergency response in January. It is leading the response to Zika across U.S. states and Puerto Rico, which has been hard hit by the virus. It’s also working with researchers in several countries to learn more about Zika’s effects…” (McKay, 11/18).

Washington Post: WHO no longer considers Zika a global health emergency
“…The CDC said there is also urgent need to develop improved diagnostics and vaccines that can prevent infection and spread of the disease. Public health experts and clinicians need to better understand the risk of neurological complications in affected infants, children, and adults, the risks of mosquito-borne and sexual transmission of Zika and how best to prevent Zika infection, the agency said…” (Sun, 11/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.