PAHO Director Dr Carissa Etienne warns the fight against the Zika virus will be a long & tedious one
Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dominican born Dr Carissa Etienne, has warned that the fight against the Zika virus will be a marathon, making it clear that it is not a 100 metre race.
Dr Etienne was delivering the keynote address at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in the City of Atlanta in the United States.
Dr Etienne said the fight is a marathon, in which Science and Public Health needs to work hand in hand.
She told delegates present there is still a long way to go as regards the Zika virus, and the development of affordable new tools by the scientific community, including diagnostic testing and a vaccine against Zika, as well as innovation in vector control, is an urgent priority.
Dr Etienne says the health systems within the Caribbean will need to be prepared to ensure such new tools are introduced, and there are benefits to reaching everyone, not merely a few.
She says further recent outbreaks have shown clearly why it is so crucial to strengthen and maintain essential public health capacities, to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats, regardless of their source.
PAHO said approximately 500Million people in Latin America and the Caribbean, live in areas at risk of transmission of the Zika virus.
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