Scientists urge WHO to take urgent action over Zika epidemic

    Scientists urge WHO to take urgent action over Zika epidemic

    Jan 28, Washington: US scientists have warned that the Zika virus could become "explosive pandemic potential". They also urged the World Health Organisation (WHO) to take urgent action over the pandemic.

    Writing in a US medical journal, they called on the WHO to heed lessons from the Ebola outbreak and convene an emergency committee of disease experts.

    They said a vaccine might be ready for testing in two years but it could be a decade before it is publicly available.

    Zika, linked to shrunken brains in children, has caused panic in Brazil and thousands of people have been infected there and it has spread to some 20 countries.

    Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Daniel R Lucey and Lawrence O Gostin said that the WHO's failure to act early in the recent Ebola crisis probably cost thousands of lives.

    Scientists have warn that a similar catastrophe could unfold if swift action is not taken over the Zika virus. There is no cure for the virus and the hunt is on for a vaccine, led by scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

    The researchers have visited Brazil to carry out research and collect samples and are now analysing them in a suite of high-security laboratories in Galveston, Texas, media report said.

    The Oslo Times


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