When it comes to addressing infectious disease, we have a short attention span. Forces are mobilized when we’ve crossed a tipping point, and demobilized when the immediate threat has passed. In the case of Zika, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency based on a strong association between Zika infection and microcephaly in newborns and a spike in Guillain-Barré syndrome.
The Zika virus epidemic is yet another disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Those tiny insects are responsible for spreading many of the world’s worst diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever. According to the World Health Organization, over 400,000 people worldwide died from malaria in 2015.