WHO to decide whether to declare Zika a global emergency

Feb 04, 2016 The World Health Organization recently declared Zika virus a global emergency after the virus was linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil.

Following criticism of a hesitant response, the designation would fast-track international action and research priorities

Commenting on this, World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said:

“It would definitely galvanize international community as it was the case for Ebola, this is the point when WHO is saying that there should be concentrated efforts by member states, by international partners and by research and development community to look on different fronts trying to find a solution to the problem,”

The WHO, which was criticized for reacting slowly to the Ebola epidemic, had promised to do better in future global health crises.

Jasarevic went on to say:

“Emergency committee under international health regulation is usually composed of a number of leading world experts coming from different countries who will be basically looking into what we know about Zika virus, and its link to, potential link with microcephaly, what are the gaps in the knowledge, what studies need to be done, what studies are ongoing, how we move forward on research and development on vaccines as well. They will also be looking into what really public recommendations can be given to countries,”

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