The WHO is calling on the public to share their comments on the newly drafted Zika virus Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap, a key component of the WHO’s R&D Blueprint which is a global strategy and preparedness plan that allows the activation of R&D activities in advance of and during pandemics. Comments can be submitted by completing this form. The Zika virus R&D roadmap aims to accelerate the development and implementation of effective medical countermeasures for the Zika virus so as to reduce morbidity, mortality and transmission of the virus. Zika is transmitted through the bite of specific species of mosquito and is known to cause birth defects and neurological problems in children born to women infected with the virus.
Currently, Zika has a low infection rate but through experience, researchers know that diseases have the tendency and capacity to re-emerge for varying reasons. The Zika outbreaks have provided researchers with a significant amount of experience which could allow public health officials to adapt timeously to future pandemics.