WHO: Zika may be declared as Global Health Emergency

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Geneva, Feb 1: The WHO Emergency Health Committee is likely to have a meeting today, debating whether or not Zika virus should be declared as a health emergency. The agency said that the virus was spreading dangerously in the Americas, with an explosive infections of four million.

Although the symptoms are mild, it is responsible for several cases of microcephaly, a condition where a baby is born with an abnormally small head and brain.

Zika virus

Although it is yet to be ascertained that the anomaly is caused by the virus in the first place, WHO chief Margaret Chan warned last week the causal relationship was "strongly suspected". Zika is also considered to be behind a neurological disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome.

After Brazil set the alarm for the increasing number of such cases in October 2014, there has been a tremendous surge in the numbers ever since. Till now, there have been 270 confirmed cases of microcephaly and 3,448 suspected cases, up from 147 in 2014.

A closed-door meeting between the leaders of the affected countries took place, but the results will not be disclosed before Tuesday.

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