During February 2016, the EMA set up a Zika Virus task force in a bid to aid global efforts to respond to the emerging epidemic. The task force consisted of European experts with specialized knowledge of vaccines, infectious disease and other relevant expertise. The group was set up to be able to give advice on any scientific and regulatory matters for the research and development of medicines or vaccines to protect against the virus. The creation of this task force was prompted by the declaration from the WHO, that the Zika virus outbreak is now a public health emergency of international concern.
Promising results were shown later in November 2016, where the FDA developed a mouse model to help improve the understanding of the pathology of the virus. The recent outbreak of the Zika virus has led to increased incidences of neurological disorders, complex congenital syndromes like microencephaly in babies and Guillain-Barre ́ Syndrome in adults, creating an urgent need to study animal models to better understand the pathology.