WHO to discuss action over Zika virus pandemic

The aedes mosquito - the main carrier of the Zika virus
The aedes mosquito – the main carrier of the Zika virus.   Credit: James Gathany

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is having an emergency meeting today to discuss the continuing Zika virus outbreak in the Americas.  The mosquito-borne virus has spread to 22 countries within North and South America.

Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly, a serious developmental disorder where babies are born with small heads. In Brazil, there have been over 4,000 case of microcephaly since October 2015. Normally, Brazil would see approximately 150 cases a year.

The WHO can recommend placing travel restrictions to and from infected countries, among a wide range of infection control measures. With London as a major business and travel hub, any future restrictions would likely have some impact on the capital.

Those who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant should seek advice from a medical professional before travelling to countries affected by the Zika virus (click here to find a list.)

Those with chronic medical conditions, or who have a weakened immune system, are also advised to talk to a medical professional. Pregnant women who have recently travelled to any of the countries on the above list are advised to inform their obstetrician or midwife.


 

Subedited by Kip Dudden

Original written for and published on WestminsterWorld.com

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