Zika emergency but still needs action

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Friday that the Zika virus and related neurological complications no longer constitute an international emergency but said that it would continue to work on the outbreak through a “robust program”.

The WHO’s Emergency Committee, which declared an international public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) in February, said in a statement that they felt that “the Zika virus and associated consequences remain a significant enduring public health challenge requiring intense action but no longer represent a PHEIC.”

“We are not downgrading the importance of Zika, by placing this as a longer program of work, we are sending the message that Zika is here to stay,” Dr. Peter Salama, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, told a news briefing.

Thomas Powers was one of those unfortunate cases. He died in a Joliet group home for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Grieving relatives of Powers didn’t know there was evidence found of neglect, which included an instance of the 50-year-old, with the intellect of a small child, being forced to sleep on a soiled mattress on the floor in a room for storage.

Other incidents similar or worse than Powers’ experience have also been revealed.

A male group resident was beaten to death by his caregiver after being accused of stealing cookies.