The possibility that a mosquito bite during pregnancy could be linked to severe birth defects in newborns has alarmed the public and astonished scientists. Aedes aegypti, the principal mosquito species that transmits the Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses, has a number of breeding and behavioural quirks that make it extremely difficult to control. This article looks at conventional and new techniques for control and summarizes WHO guidance.
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Under the lead of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations system is mobilizing a coordinated response to Zika aimed at minimizing the threat in affected countries and reducing the risk of further international spread.
Following yesterday's declaration of a public health emergency of international concern regarding the cluster of microcephaly and other neurological disorders in relation to the Zika virus, United Nations agencies today highlighted their actions to support affected communities.
Meeting today on the Zika virus outbreak, the World Health Organization announced that the recent cluster of neurological disorders and neonatal malformations reported in the Americas region constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.
In her statement to the media, Dr Margaret Chan summarized the evidence considered by members of an Emergency Committee on Zika virus disease convened under the International Health Regulations. The experts advised the Director-General that the outbreak, especially the association of clusters of microcephaly in time and place with infections, constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.