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WHO declares Zika a public health emergency

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. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told reporters that the emergency designation had been recommended to the UN agency by a committee of independent experts. She also said coordinated international action was needed, to improve detection and expedite work on a vaccine and better diagnostics for the disease.

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