The World Health Organisation last month said the explosive outbreak of the Zika virus in the Americas constitutes a global emergency. Scientists suspect – but have not yet established – a link between Zika and a range of developmental problems that can be life threatening to newborn babies.
Researchers are also not fully clear on how the disease can be transmitted, although it is understood that it is generally through an infected person being bitten by a mosquito. It seems that it can also be sexually transmitted.
This has understandably caused panic for pregnant women living in the areas where the virus has spread. Those travelling through these areas are also at risk of contracting and spreading the virus.
This disproportionately affects people living in poor living conditions who are not only at higher risk of contracting the virus but also have less access to healthcare. Socialists demand immediate funding for kits with quick diagnostic tests so as to limit the impact of the virus.
Ultimately we need a massive increase in health funding to ensure the resources are available to deal with these types of issues in the future.
By Amy Neve