In DepthEpidemiology

One year later, Zika scientists prepare for a long war

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Science  02 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6316, pp. 1088-1089
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6316.1088

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The World Health Organization recently announced that the Zika epidemic is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, a designation reserved for acute threats that Zika received in February. But the decision only means that Zika has evolved from an emergency to another long-term public health challenge. The Zika virus is now firmly entrenched in Latin America, which is already battling several other mosquito-borne diseases. Meanwhile, Zika vaccines aren't available yet, and fundamental gaps remain in scientists' knowledge of the virus and the risk of microcephaly and other birth defects that it poses. Perhaps the biggest question is also the most difficult to answer: Why have the effects of Zika been so pronounced in northeastern Brazil?