Potential Zika virus vaccine developed

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Brazil's health ministry said the number of cases fell by 95% between January and April, compared with the same period a year ago. Because cases have dramatically dropped in recent months, however, officials have finally declared an end to the threat.

The Zika virus is associated with a birth defect called microcephaly when contracted by pregnant women.

The virus, which is spread via mosquito bites, didn't only affect Brazil though.

Since the DOH began tracking in January 2016, the department has followed 2,119 reported cases, of which 1,026 tested positive for the mosquito-born virus.

In addition to zika, the Aedes aegypti mosquito carries the at times deadly dengue and chikungunya virus.

Brazil has declared an end to its public health emergency over the Zika virus. The virus is to blame for a birth defect that causes a baby's head to be smaller than normal because the brain doesn't develop properly and children end up with smaller heads than normal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others recommended that women who were pregnant shouldn't travel to affected areas. "The ZIKA VLP vaccine offers an effective and safe strategy to create a prophylactic vaccine that protect against Zika infection as well as its serious effects such as microcephaly", said Jose M. Galarza, TechnoVax CEO.

It caused more concern when health officials said Zika could also be transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person.

But the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Zika is "here to stay" despite the decline in cases, and that continued efforts are needed to fight the disease.

"The important thing now is that we don't forget the victims". Anyone who is pregnant and showing symptoms of Zika, such as a fever, rash, red eyes, joint/muscle pain or headache, should immediately talk to her doctor or healthcare provider, the department said.

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