Tuesday 23rd May, 2017
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Brazil declares end of national emergency for Zika virus

Agencia Brasil - Friday 12th May, 2017

In a statement made Thursday (May 11), the Brazilian Health Minister declared the end of the national emergency announced in November 2015 as a result of the Zika virus and its connections with microcephaly and its neurological consequences. According to the government, Brazil no longer fulfills the requirements for a state of emergency based on the criteria set by the World Health Organization (WHO). In other words, cases are no longer uncommon or unexpected.

"There is now enough scientific knowledge," said Secretary for Health Surveillance Adeilson Loureiro. "The efforts regarding research, supplies and the funds were enough. The studies continue, and we'll maintain the routine of fighting against the arboviruses," he stated.

The decision was made 18 months after the state of emergency was declared, the ministry reported, at a moment marked by a reduction in the number of Zika and microcephaly cases across the country. By April 15 this year, a total 7,911 cases of Zika was declared, a decline of 95.3% compared to 2016, when 170,535 cases were notified.

The data on microcephaly have showed a major fall in the number of new cases reported every week since May, 2016, the government says. The monthly number of cases has held at a steady 2% since January this year, whereas an increase of 135% in reports was observed at the high point of the crisis, in December 2015.

"From the pragmatic point of view, there's no change in assistance, monitoring, or diagnosis," Loureiro said, stressing that the end of the emergency status does not make public policies implemented in the period any weaker.

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