Brazil declares official end to Zika virus epidemic

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Brazil has declared an end to its public health emergency for the Zika virus.

According to Brazil's Ministry of Health, there have been 95% less reported Zika cases in the country during 2017, as opposed to 2016.

The Zika scare was at its peak before Rio de Janeiro held the 2016 Olympics, with countries around the world reporting an increase in infections. The threat led to a campaign to eradicate the mosquitoes which carry the virus.

In a statement in Portuguese, the country has stated that though there were eight deaths related to Zika virus last year, no death has been recorded in the ongoing year.

The end of the emergency, however, does not equate to ending vigilance and offering the right assistance, health ministry official Adeilson Cavalcante emphasized. Not every mosquito carries Zika; generally, transmission occurs after a mosquito has bitten an infected person.

"The main axis to avoid the cases of the three diseases is to continue the combat against the mosquito Aedes aegypti", stated the secretary.

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Zika virus has been linked to the birth of babies with small heads.

About half the women traveled to a Zika risk area after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its initial travel advisory in February 2016, the researchers said. Many people infected with Zika virus experience mild or no symptoms, so may not even suspect that they're infected.

After months of careful monitoring, Nebraska's first mom-to-be infected with Zika virus delivers a healthy baby girl. "The ZIKA VLP vaccine offers an effective and safe strategy to create a prophylactic vaccine that protect against Zika infection as well as its serious effects such as microcephaly", said Jose M. Galarza, TechnoVax CEO.

The World Health Organization (WHO) lifted its own worldwide health emergency status for Zika last November, but said said it remains a "significant and enduring public health challenge".

However, doctors have warned that victims of the disease must not be forgotten.

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