Two years ago, more people probably knew that Stephen Breyer is on the Supreme Court (hint: itâ€™s a really low number) than had even heard of the Zika virus. I certainly hadnâ€™t, and I make my living studying global health politics. The entirety of published research on Zika could fit in a shoebox. Since the first reports of the virus appeared in Brazil, though, Zika has grabbed international attention, leading to travel warnings and even causing some athletes to pull out of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Zikaâ€™s emergence changed the dialogue on global health and forced states and organizations to get involved. On 1 February 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika-related microcephaly to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Nine months later, WHO ended the PHEIC for Zika, arguing that the organization should shift to a â€œrobust longer-term technical mechanism.â€ Is WHOâ€™s decision a reflection of the changing strategy necessary to tackle Zika, or is it evidence that the organization is waving the white flag and admitting defeat?
|Place of Publication||Online|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|