- Title: WHO declares end of Zika emergency but still needs action
- Date: 18th November 2016
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (FILE - JANUARY 25, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF WHO HEADQUARTERS BUILDING
- Embargoed: 3rd December 2016 22:07
- Keywords: WHO World Health Organization Zika virus emergency
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / RECIFE, PERNAMBUCO, BRAZIL / SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / RECIFE, PERNAMBUCO, BRAZIL / SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA00158Z4M6F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS WHITE FLASHES TO SEPARATE SOUNDBITES
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Friday (November 18) that the Zika virus and related neurological complications no longer constitute an international emergency, but said it would continue to work on the outbreak through a "robust" programme.
The WHO's Emergency Committee, which declared an international public health emergency of international concern in February, said the virus still represents "a significant and an enduring public health challenge".
"We are not downgrading the importance of Zika, in fact by placing this as a longer term programme of work, we're sending the message that Zika is here to stay and WHO's response is here to stay in a very robust manner," said Dr. Peter Salama, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.
Carried by mosquitoes, the Zika virus can cause the rare birth defect microcephaly and other neurological disorders in infants and adults. It has spread to more than 60 countries and territories since the current outbreak was identified last year in Brazil.
There have been some 2,300 confirmed cases worldwide of babies born with microcephaly, most in Brazil, but the figure is most likely a significant under-estimate, Dr. Peter Salamasaid.
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