The World Health Organization, (WHO), on Monday declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus an international public health emergency, due to its link to thousands of birth defects in Brazil. A Public Health Emergency of International Concern, or PHEIC, is a formal declaration by the WHO of a public health crisis of potentially global reach. This is the fourth time the WHO has declared a PHEIC. The others concerned the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, the polio resurgence in 2014 and the Ebola outbreak, also in 2014.
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