Zika No Longer Constitutes International Emergency- W.H.O

Zika, w.h.oThe World Health Organization (W.H.O), has declared that the Zika virus and related neurological complications, no longer constitute an international emergency.

However, the agency says it would continue to work on the outbreak through a “robust” programme, as the virus still represents “a significant and an enduring public health challenge”.

In February, W.H.O Director-General, Margaret Chan, had called it an “extraordinary event”, while declaring a public health emergency.

Carried by mosquitoes, the Zika virus can cause the rare birth defect, Microcephaly, (where babies are born with abnormally small heads and restricted brain development) and other neurological disorders in infants and adults.

It has spread to more than 60 countries and territories since the current outbreak was identified in 2015, in Brazil.

Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff had said “as long as the mosquito keeps reproducing, each and every one of us is losing the battle against the mosquito”.

“We have to mobilize so we do not lose this battle.”

Health officials in affected countries had advised women to avoid pregnancy – in some cases, for up to two years.

Here are a few things you might need to know about the virus

  • Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (aegypti and Ae albopictus)
  • These mosquitoes bite during the day and night.
  • Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus and infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
  • There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
  • In most people, symptoms of the virus are mild, including fever, headache, rash and possible pink eye. In fact, 80% of those infected never know they have the disease.

Brazil Impeachment: New Leader Calls For Trust

Michel Temer, Brazil PresidentIn a televised address to the nation, Brazil’s new Interim President, Michel Temer, has asked the people to trust his government’s ability to rebuild the economy.

He has named a business-friendly cabinet that includes respected former central bank chief Henrique Meirelles as Finance Minister.

Meanwhile suspended president, Dilma Rousseff, denounced her removal as a “farce” and “sabotage”.

Mr Temer was Ms Rousseff’s vice-president before withdrawing his party’s support in March. She has accused him of involvement in a “coup”.

After Wednesday’s all-night session that lasted more than 20 hours, senators voted by 55 votes to 22 to suspend her and put her on trial for budgetary violations.

In her final speech on Thursday afternoon, she again denied the allegations and vowed to fight what she called an “injustice” by all legal means.

Brazil’s Rousseff Bows Out Defiantly After Historic Senate Vote To Try Her

Rouseff_BrazilBrazilian President Dilma Rousseff bowed out defiantly on Thursday, suspended from office after the Senate voted to put her on trial for breaking budget laws in a historic decision brought on by a deep recession and a corruption scandal.

Rousseff, in office since 2011, will be replaced by Vice President Michel Temer, for the duration of a Senate trial that could take up to six months.

Rousseff, speaking shortly before she left Brasilia’s Planalto presidential palace, said was notified of her suspension on Thursday morning.

“I may have made mistakes but I did not commit any crime,” Rousseff said in an angry address, calling the impeachment “fraudulent” and “a coup.” The leftist leader, 68, was flanked by dozens of ministers who were leaving with her administration.

“I never imagined that it would be necessary to fight once again against a coup in this country,” Rousseff said, in a reference to her youth fighting Brazil’s military dictatorship.

Her suspension came hours after the Senate voted 55-22 to put her on trial, a decision that ended more than 13 years of rule by the left-wing Workers Party.

The party rose from Brazil’s labor movement and helped pull millions of people out of poverty before seeing many of its leaders tainted by corruption investigations.

Rousseff, an economist and former member of a Marxist guerrilla group who was the country’s first woman president, is unlikely to be acquitted in her trial.

The size of the vote to try her showed the opposition already has the support it will need to reach a two-thirds majority required to convict Rousseff and remove her definitively from office.

“It is a bitter though necessary medicine,” opposition Senator Jose Serra, tipped to become foreign minister under Temer, said during the marathon debate. “Having the Rousseff government continue would be a bigger tragedy.”

With Brazil’s economy mired in its deepest recession in decades, the incoming Temer administration sought to show it would act rapidly.

Temer aides said the incoming government would announce a series of austerity measures to help reduce a massive budget deficit. An immediate effort would seek to reform Brazil’s costly pension system, possibly setting a minimum age for retirement, said one advisor.

Temer also plans to appoint Henrique Mereilles, a former central bank president and banking executive who is popular with foreign investors, as finance minister, another aide said.