Global Arbovirus Initiative Prepares for Future Pandemics
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced the launch of the Global Arbovirus Initiative, an integrated strategic plan to tackle emerging and re-emerging arboviruses with epidemic and pandemic potential.
The most common arboviruses are mosquito-borne illnesses, such as Dengue, Yellow fever, Chikungunya, and Zika.
Zika virus gained worldwide notoriety in 2016 when it was found to cause congenital disabilities such as microencephaly.
Zika remains a health threat in tropical and sub-tropical parts (map) and has been detected in about 89 countries.
"Arboviruses" might not be something most of us are familiar with. Still, they're a deadly threat to almost four billion people, so the UN health agency launched a plan on March 31, 2022, to prevent them from causing a new pandemic.
In a related press statement, Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO's Emergency Programme, explained that the scheme would allow health authorities to tackle the "broad but related threats" posed by Dengue, Yellow fever, Chikungunya, and Zika.
"For each of these diseases, there have been gains in different aspects of surveillance response, research, and development," he said.
"But sustainability is often limited to the scope and duration and scope of disease-specific projects."
"There is an urgent need to re-evaluate the tools at hand and how these can be used across diseases to ensure an efficient response, evidence-based practice, equipped and trained personnel, and engagement of communities."
Furthermore, according to WHO data, Zika outbreaks could continue.
Information on Zika vaccine candidates is posted on this ZikaNew.com/vaccine page.
Note: This news article edited WHO information for clarity and was manually curated for mobile readers.