Science

A Year Of Fighting: Is It The End Of Zika Virus?

By Dante Noe Raquel II , Jan 15, 2017 08:47 PM EST
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On Friday, the World Health Organization that the Zika virus is no longer an international emergency. However, the organization added that it would continue to battle the outbreak through a "robust program". (Photo : wochit News / Youtube)

Over the past year of fighting the virus, we've seen how life-altering effects of the Zika virus on newborns of their lifetime. Images of babies with unusually small heads and other birth flaws have been shown in newspapers and on TV broadcasts. These images often show the hands of their parents feeding, bathing and comforting them, or the hands of doctors or nurses caring for them. These hands embody the intensive, potentially lifelong sustenance that many of these children will need. For families, this will demand love, patience, and hope. For doctors and nurses, it will demand learning new ways to treat patients. For the administration, it will require funding, research, and commitment.

Intensive Action, Multi-Million Fundings And Unconditional Love Of The Medical Team Aimed To End Zika

Nearly a year ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started its Emergency Operations Center, and scientists began working in haste and in earnest to try to comprehend and suppressed Zika's spread. The March of Dimes began cultivating women and families on Zika stoppage and supporting health specialists as they prepared to care for babies affected by the virus. Numerous of CDC staff members continue to work keenly to protect pregnant women and pick up more about how to control Zika.

The first wave of the epidemic has slowed, but we must not let our watch down, mostly in the Southern United States, where the mosquitoes that carries Zika can be found. We must endure to back up research to develop a safe and active vaccine for those at risk of Zika. We need better problem-solving tests for Zika and more effective approach to control the mosquitoes that carries the virus. And we must prepare for the affected newborns who will be born before a vaccine become obtainable. We need devote and capable hands to care for these infants.

Over $10 Million Babies Affected By Zika

The Zika virus affects all Americans. In accumulation to the overwhelming demonstrative toll on families, the CDC estimates that lifetime health and educational costs for each baby born with microcephaly could be approximately over $10 million. Affected children will need protection, funding, and care for decades to come. As we look to the future, we hope to see pictures showing the hands of public members helping to regulate or seize mosquitoes, the hands of health experts protecting the next peers from Zika with new vaccines and the hands of caregivers helping affected children to reach their full aptitude.

"We published the paper to describe it, to donate to the medical literature," said Chen, who included photos with the article. Such data could speed up diagnosis and proper treatment, Dr. Lucy Chen, a dermatologist at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital.

For now, "the most important thing we can do is keep good mosquito control," he said. "Some of the approaches we are using now have not been verified effective for Zika. And some means that we maybe should study aren't being used now."

Tom Frieden is director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Edward McCabe is chief medical officer of the March of Dimes. The Washington Post first published this column.

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