Zika to be declared a global emergency? – WHO

On Monday, Independent experts of the World Health Organization (WHO) began deliberating whether to declare a global emergency over the Zika virus which thousands of birth defects in Brazil have been linked to.

Last week, WHO mentioned that Zika virus has been “spreading explosively” and could infect as many as four million people in the Americas.

An anonymous WHO official in Geneva stated that the 12 committee members who expertize in public health, infectious diseases and epidemiology from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe began a discussion on the issue in a telephone conference.

He also mentioned that WHO was criticized for its slow reaction on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa which led to the death of more than 10,000 people, and had promised to perform better in future global crisis.

Brazil, having recorded not less than 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly, in which infants are born with smaller-than-usual brains and the health ministry, has linked the condition to Zika.

Experts also believe that as this virus spreads from Brazil, other countries  in the Americas are likely to see cases of babies with Zika-linked birth defects.