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World Health Org. Declares Zika an International Public Health Crisis

HeadlinesFeb 02, 2016
Hdlns2 zika

The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency. While the virus itself is usually not life-threatening, it appears to be linked to microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads. Microcephaly also causes a host of other health problems, including seizures, developmental delays, hearing loss and vision problems. The WHO says the Zika virus is "spreading explosively" and that up to 4 million people in the Americas could be infected by the end of this year. World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan spoke out at a news conference in Geneva.

Dr. Margaret Chan: "I am now declaring that the recent cluster of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities reported in Latin America, following a similar cluster of French Polynesia in 2014, constitutes a public health emergency of international concern."

Scientists have linked rising temperatures from global warming to the increased incidence of mosquito-borne infections such as Zika.

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