WHO implements data-sharing protocol to improve response to Zika outbreak

During a public health emergency, timely access to data is crucial. To improve access to data on the Zika virus during the current epidemic, the World Health Organization Bulletin is implementing a new data-sharing and reporting protocol.

Under the new protocol, research manuscripts on the Zika epidemic — which WHO has declared an international public health emergency — will be posted online in WHO's "Zika Open" collection within 24 hours while undergoing peer review. During the review process, the papers will be available for free, allowing readers to scrutinize, distribute and reproduce the research in any medium.

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"Given the number and complexity of unanswered questions on the mechanisms and consequences of Zika infection and associated disease, our goal is to encourage all researchers to share their data as quickly and widely as possible," according to a Bulletin editorial. "With this protocol for immediate online posting, we are providing another means to achieve immediate global access to relevant data."

The first paper to which the WHO protocol applies has already been published online. To access the paper, click here.



More articles on Zika:
4 Florida counties declare state of emergency over Zika virus
CDC: Zika virus transmitted sexually in Texas
WHO declares Zika virus & link to birth defects an international public health emergency

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