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Zika virus is a global public health emergency, declares WHO

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i657 (Published 02 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i657
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

The Zika virus, and its suspected link to an increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly and a spike in neurological conditions is a global public health emergency, the World Health Organization has declared.1 2 3 4 5 6

WHO’s public health emergency committee, which met on Monday 1 February, declared that the spread of the virus was an emergency of public health concern, triggering funding into research, vector control, and efforts to stop pregnant women becoming infected.

WHO’s director general, Margaret Chan, told a press conference that the virus was an “extraordinary event and a public health threat to other parts of the world.” She said that evidence for a link between the virus and the increase in cases of microcephaly in babies and a spike in cases of …

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