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WHO declares Zika virus a global emergency

The World Health Organization on Monday said a surge in serious birth defects in South America was “strongly suspected” of being caused by the Zika virus and constituted an international health emergency.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) MARGARET CHAN, WHO Director-General
“I am now declaring that the recent cluster of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities reported in Latin America following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014 constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.”

The announcement came after WHO convened its first Emergency Committee meeting on Zika virus.

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