Zika virus: WHO holds emergency meet to decide response

Feb 02, 2016, 10:07 IST | Agencies

The committee will decide on designating the virus as a global emergency

London: The World Health Organisaton (WHO) is holding an emergency meeting to advise on the global response to the Zika virus as the number of incited people continues to rise.

The committee will decide whether to designate the mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to serious birth defects, a global emergency meriting immediate coordinated international action, amid criticism that it has been too slow to act.

Last Thursday, the WHO’s director general, Margaret Chan said the virus was ‘spreading explosively’.

The latest figures from Colombia, released over the weekend, offered support for her analysis, showing that there are 20,297 confirmed cases of the disease in the South American country, including 2,116 pregnant women, making it the second most affected country after Brazil.

According to Colombian officials, the number of pregnant women confirmed to be affected has doubled in a week. WHO earlier had said the precise nature of any link between Zika and microcephaly remains unclear.

The number of confirmed Zika virus cases in Colombia.

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