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March 7, 2016


The World Health Organisation has officially declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency following reports of thousands of cases of birth defects linked to the virus across Brazil.

The organisation called for a co-ordinated international response to the virus and work towards a vaccine and better diagnostics.

They said it is not necessary to curb travel or trade due to the virus though.

WHO believes the move will help fast track international action and research priorities.

Taking action is imperative because health experts suspect the Zika virus may cause underdeveloped brains. Brazil has almost 4,000 cases of microcephaly, a condition where infants are born with small brains. 

Consequently, concerns about pregnant women travelling to countries with high Zika virus cases have sprung up in recent months. To keep pregnant women (and their babies) safe from the virus, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has discouraged them from attending the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. 

Although we don’t have much to fear here in Australia when it comes to Zika virus, there has been a case of a pregnant woman who became infected reported.


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