The World Health Organization (W.H.O) stated on Friday that they didn’t get any reports of anyone being infected with Zika during the Olympics. This included athletes and visitors of the event. Experts were convened by the International Health Agency so it could be decided if the Zika virus should remain a public health emergency or not. They concluded by votes that it still was. The news was announced on Friday and the decision was made because of new infections that were reported in Guinea-Bissau and Singapore.
With regards to the Olympics, they received great news. Data came out of Brazil which convinced the experts that no case of Zika had occurred during the time the games were ongoing or when everybody went back to their countries after it was all over.
The panel was led by Dr. David Heyman who is a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London. Health facilities in Brazil were focused on tracking and treating all Zika cases they may encounter but none was reported. In May the W.H.O said that cancelling the Olympics made no sense as it will not be affected significantly. This assessment came when a bunch of health experts wanted the games to be cancelled saying that continuing would worsen the global epidemic but experts now say that the W.H.O had assessed the situation correctly.
Dr. Peter Salama who is the executive director of Outbreaks and Health Emergencies at W.H.O said although there were many people tested, no cases were confirmed and added that Brazil was on high alert throughout with enhanced and active surveillance. They were confident after the risk assessment that there will be no increase of any significance in transmissions because of the Olympics and it now seems that they were accurate in their conclusion.
Zika had made its presence known as early as the 1940s but the sudden spread only recently began in Latin America. An adult has very slight symptoms but where pregnant women are concerned, it can cause serious birth defects and for this reason it has to be closely watched and its movements tracked. It had moved from Brazil to Colombia and is spreading fast in the Caribbean right now. This is particularly true for Puerto Rico where the number of infected has climbed to 14 000 under which almost 1000 pregnant ladies.
Over the continent of the United States there have been small concentrated groups of infected individuals over South Florida. Experts warn that the world should not let its guard down as the disease may very probably become rampant in many countries. Dr. Heymann said that it does still remain an emergency that concerns the entire globe. This out-of-the-ordinary happening is becoming just another event quite quickly, regrettably.