Microcephaly Linked to Zika Virus Is a 'Public Health Emergency,' Officials Say

February 2, 2016 8:18 AM

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Microcephaly Linked to Zika Virus Is a 'Public Health Emergency,' Officials Say

The recent, dramatic increase in babies in Brazil born with microcephaly — underdeveloped skulls and brains — that has been linked with the Zika virus constitutes "a public health emergency of international concern," Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, said today.

Clusters of microcephaly and other neurological complications that are possibly linked to the virus make up "an extraordinary event and a public health threat to other parts of the world," Chan said at a news conference in Geneva today (Feb. 1).

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