World Health Organization: Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency

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The World Health Organization declared the spread of Zika to be an international health emergency.

An emergency meeting was held to gather information on the severity of the health threat associated with the virus.

Health officials say the most important preventative measures agains the virus include the control of mosquito populations.

The virus is spread through mosquito bites. Officials say the virus can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.

There have been reports, according to WHO, of serious birth defects of the brain called microcephaly, a condition in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected.

Countries that have reported the virus are in the Carribbean, Central, and South America.

WHO says pregnant women can consider delaying travel to Zika-affected areas, should protect themselves with safe mosquito repllant, and long clothing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquitos in the U.S. are not spreading the virus.

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