Wed | Jan 17, 2018

Zika fight will be a marathon – PAHO director

Published:Wednesday | November 16, 2016 | 2:53 PM
Dr Carissa F. Etienne

Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Dr Carissa F. Etienne has warned that the fight against the Zika virus will be a marathon and not a hundred-meter race.

In delivering the keynote address at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Atlanta, Etienne said there is still a long way to go.

She says the development of affordable new tools by the scientific community, including diagnostic tests and a vaccine against Zika, as well as innovation in vector control, is an urgent priority.

Our health systems will need to be prepared to ensure such new tools are introduced and that their benefits reach everyone, not merely a few.

PAHO says approximately 500-million persons in Latin America and the Caribbean live in areas at risk for transmission of Zika virus.