$53 million needed to carry out Zika emergency plan

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A female Aedes Aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from her human host. Photo: CDC/James Gathany

$53 million are required in order to carry out a global emergency response plan to the Zika virus infection, an official with the UN health agency has said.

The plan aims to provide support to affected countries, build capacity to prevent further outbreaks and control them when they do occur.

Health officials and experts met at the UN in New York on Tuesday to discuss the global prevention and control strategy.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

The virus, first identified in Uganda in 1947, is now spreading explosively in the Americas, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Possible links with neurological malformations and birth defects have changed the profile of the Zika virus infection from a mild threat to one of serious proportions.

Given the widespread distribution of the mosquito vector, the absence of vaccines and specific treatments in the newly infected areas, the Zika situation is particularly serious.

Dr. Natela Menabde is the Executive Director of the WHO Office at the United Nations in New York.

"We have done the estimation of what kind of resources we may need to address this situation immediately and this has come to the amount of $53 million of which WHO has requested 25 million and the rest was our partner agencies request. And this is something which is based on estimation of current interventions."

Zika was declared a public health emergency of international concern by WHO, on February 1.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

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