Volume 97, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



More than 700,000 cases of Zika virus (ZIKAV) disease have been officially reported to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) from 48 countries and territories of the Americas. The response led by the PAHO and partners suggests major lessons of this outbreak. A seemingly innocuous pathogen became the new villain, causing fear, economic losses and, most importantly, debilitating birth defects and neurological problems, reaffirming the well-known war principle of never to underestimate one's opponent. The ZIKAV tested public health capacities under the International Health Regulations, highlighting the need for continued investment in health security. Last but not least, the lack of appropriate tools was another reminder of the pressing need for innovative solutions to persistent problems. Latin America and the Caribbean have approximately 500 million persons living in areas at risk for transmission of ZIKAV. The fight against ZIKAV is not a 100-m race, but rather a marathon in which science and public health need to work hand in hand for the benefit of our peoples.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 15 Mar 2017
  • Accepted : 15 Mar 2017
  • Published online : 01 May 2017

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