UN health chief: Zika virus is ‘spreading explosively’

UN health chief: Zika virus is 'spreading explosively'

Declaring that the Zika virus is “spreading explosively,” the World Health Organization announced it will hold an emergency meeting of independent experts Monday to decide if the outbreak should be declared an international health emergency.

At a special meeting Thursday las t week in Geneva, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan said the virus — which has been linked to birth defects and neurological problems — was becoming much more of a threat.  One WHO scientist said the Americas could see up to 4 million cases of Zika in the next year.

Chan said although there was no definitive proof that the Zika virus was responsible for a spike in the number of babies being born with abnormally small heads in Brazil, “the level of alarm is extremely high.”  She also noted a possible relationship between Zika infections and Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis.

Subscribe to our Newsletter