The World Health Organisation has declared that Zika virus is an international health emergency and has released funds to fight the
“This is an extraordinary event,” said WHO Director General Margaret Chan at a press conference on
Monday. “It poses a public health threat to other parts of the world and a coordinated international
response is needed.”
The declaration is the fourth in WHO’s history, and comes few days after the organization said
the number of cases could hit 4 million by the end of the year. The virus has spread rapidly throughout
the Americas infecting people in more than 20 countries.
Officials in Brazil, the hardest hit country, have estimated 1.5 million infections.
The Zika virus is spread to people through bites from Aedes mosquitoes and causes genetic mutation in babies. The
most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week.