WHO sets up emergency team for 'explosive' outbreak of Zika virus
Jan 28, NY: The World Health Organization (WHO) has set up a Zika "emergency team" after the "explosive" spread of the virus, which caused thousands of babies being born with small brains in Brazil.
The team will meet on Monday to decide whether Zika should be treated as a global emergency, media reports said.
WHO officials said that an estimated 1.5 million people had been infected Brazil but the first cases of Zika was detected in South America in May 2015.
WHO director general Dr. Margaret Chan said that Zika had gone "from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions" and was having a "heart-breaking" impact.
Zika was first detected in Uganda in 1947, but has never caused an outbreak on this scale.
The virus, which is spread by mosquitoes, has since spread to more than 20 countries in the region.
The last time an international emergency was declared was for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa which has killed more than 11,000 people.
The Oslo Times