The WHO in its latest publication dated 10 February 2016 about Women in the context of microcephaly and Zika virus disease has asked women travelling to Zika Zones to determine the risk they wish to take with Virus and plan their trip accordingly.
The WHO has cautioned pregnant women to avoid travel to Zika affected zones. The United States CDC had issued a similar warning a month ago while WHO has been more ambiguous and chose its words carefully.
However, the world apex health watchdog has said that concerns are mounting about a possible link between birth defects and Zika Virus infections. There was more anxiety that the virus may cause microcephaly, a condition caused by brain damage to the fetus.
It said in a statement that existing evidence link Zika Virus infection could be linked to microcephaly in newborns.WHO is issuing travel advice for pregnant women and their partners.
Women who are pregnant must discuss the travel plans with their medical advisors and also consider interrupting their trip to areas known to be Zika infected.
WHO has already declared the Zika Virus and Birth Defects as an international emergency. Zika virus is also being indicted for another rare but crippling paralyzing condition called Guillan Barre syndrome.
There is no vaccine for Zika for the simple reason that it was considered a Benign and harmless virus.
Efforts were more focused on developing a vaccine for Yellow Fever and Dengue, which is in its final stage of testing.
The Zika virus resembles both Dengue and Yellow Fever virus, and hence experts opine that the vaccine can be made in a shorter time since common platforms for Dengue and Yellow Fever vaccine is already there.
WHO’s Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny reveals that Many companies are interested and willing to develop the vaccine. There are two vaccine candidates: A DNA vaccine from the US National Institutes of Health, and an inactivated product from Bharat Biotech, in India. Still it will be 18 months away from large-scale trials.