WMA Council Resolution on Zika Virus Infection
Adopted by the 203rd WMA Council Session, Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 2016
Recognizing that the WHO has designated the Zika virus infection a global health emergency, the WMA provides the following recommendations.
- WHO should work with ECDC, CDC and other disease control organisations to better understand the natural history and current epidemiology of Zika virus infection.
- Information should be disseminated widely to advise and protect all women and men who live in or must travel to Zika-affected areas and who are considering becoming parents. Advice should also include recommendations for women who are already pregnant who may have been directly exposed to the Zika virus or whose partners live in or have travelled to Zika-affected areas.
- Relevant agencies, including WHO, should gather data on the efficacy of different mosquito control methodologies, including the potentially harmful or teratogenic effects of the use of various insecticides.
- Work on diagnostic tests, antivirals, and vaccines should continue with an emphasis on producing a product that is safe for use in pregnant women and public funding should be assured for this research. When such products are developed states should ensure that they are available to, and affordable by, those most at risk.
- States which have witnessed the delivery of a number of babies with microcephaly and other fetal brain abnormalities must ensure that these infants are properly followed up by health and other services, and provide support to families seeking to cope with a child with developmental abnormalities. Wherever possible research on the consequences of microcephaly should be published, to better inform future parents, and to allow the development of optimal service provision.