The emergence of Zika virus, an infection that has been linked to birth defects, fueled a health threat to the world. Scientists from thirty research institutions pledge to share all data and findings on the virus to hasten the fight against the outbreak that has threatened people across the world, especially in the Americas.
Researchers, funding organizations and academic journals committed to share free data about the virus as included in an agreement signed by 30 organizations. The statement ascertains that all relevant information about the battle against Zika virus is made available to all individuals across the globe.
The move comes after the 2015 outbreak of Ebola virus ravaged most of West African nations and killed more than 11,300 people. The world especially those from the health sector learned important lessons from this outbreak. Vital preventive measures are needed to prevent the birth of a new outbreak that can cause serious complications. This is because Zika virus is relatively new and very little information about it has been confirmed.
"Research is an essential part of the response to any global health emergency. This is particularly true for Zika, where so much is still unknown about the virus, how it is spread and the possible link with microcephaly," Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, one of the organizations which approved of the statement, said.
He added that vital information and results of studies become available to the public. This will ensure that people are educated about the infection.
"It's extremely heartening to see so many leading international organisations united in this unprecedented commitment to open science, reinforcing the decision by the WHO to declare Zika a Public Health Emergency of International Concern," he added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the possible link between Zika virus and the sudden surge of microcephaly cases in the Americas specifically in Brazil. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Zika virus infection an international public health emergency as it urged medical bodies to share data about Zika virus and its complications as soon as possible.
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