WHO declares association between Zika virus and microcephaly

WHO says there is evidence pointing to association between Zika virus and microcephaly

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Daniele Santos, 29, holds her son Juan Pedro who is 2-months-old and born with microcephaly, after bathing him at their house in Recife, Brazil, February 9, 2016.

Updated Feb 20, 2016

The World Health Organisation said on Friday there is an increasing accumulation of evidence pointing to an association between the Zika virus and microcephaly, but it would take 4-6 months to prove the connection.

The WHO said a meeting will be held on March 7-9, on research into Zika virus and vaccines.

WHO will also convene an advisory group on mosquito control within 3-4 weeks.

The WHO had declared the Zika outbreak an international health emergency on February 1.

WHO claimed a "strongly suspected" relationship between the Zika virus and infection in pregnancy and microcephaly, a neurological disorder in babies.

Later in the evening, WHO Assistant Director Bruce Aylward will hold a briefing on Zika outbreak in the Americas linked to microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome.

A patient receives treatment at a medical care unit of Dengue in the Sao Sebastiao neighborhood of Brasilia, Brazil, February 19, 2016.

Following the outbreak in Brazil, Zika virus which is carried by mosquitoes has spread to nearly 30 countries.

Brazil said it has confirmed more than 500 cases of microcephaly and considers most of them to be related to Zika infections in the mothers, the country is investigating more than 3,900 additional suspected cases of microcephaly. Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff said her government would provide all resources needed to develop a vaccine against Zika.

TRTWorld, TRTWorld and agencies