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WHO reveals evidence of Zika link to Microcephaly


The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday announced that there was an evidence of association between the Zika virus and microcephaly, a neurological disorder in babies.

However, WHO Director for Outbreaks and Health Emergencies, Bruce Aylward, said it would take 4 to 6 months to prove it.

“Finally we’re seeing a lack of other explanatory causes, not to say that there still aren’t other causes, not to say that it may not be associated or Zika would be a co-factor still but there’s still an increasing accumulation of evidence now that these phenomena may be associated,” he said.

WHO said it is convening a research meeting on March 7 to 9 into Zika diagnostics and vaccines similar to what they did in the early days of Ebola.

Global Director of Malaria Programme, Pedro Alonso said they would also convene an advisory group on Mosquito control in 3 to 4 weeks.

“We are convening an extraordinary session of our vector control advisory group. This is a group of external advisors that supports the organization particularly the Global Malaria Programme and the Neglected Tropical Disease Programme in assessing new concepts of vector control approaches.”

WHO had declared the outbreak of Zika an international health emergency on February 1, citing a “strongly suspected” relationship between Zika virus and microcephaly.

Brazil said it has confirmed more than 500 cases of microcephaly, mostly in the Northeast, and considers most of them to be related to Zika infections in mothers.

The disease has been linked to severe birth defects in Brazil and had also spread to nearly 30 countries.