Conclusions of the Emergency Committee on the Zika virus

  • Author: GLOBE team

  • Date: September 28

  • Posted: 25/02/2015

  • Theme: Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance

  • Type: Announcement

  • Language: English

You will find below the synthesis, the WHO Director General, Emergency Committee conclusions on the Zika virus.

 I convened an Emergency Committee, under the International Health Regulations, to gather advice on the severity of the health threat associated with the continuing spread of Zika virus disease in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Committee met today by teleconference.

In assessing the level of threat, the 18 experts and advisers looked in particular at the strong association, in time and place, between infection with the Zika virus and a rise in detected cases of congenital malformations and neurological complications.

The experts agreed that a causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not yet scientifically proven. All agreed on the urgent need to coordinate international efforts to investigate and understand this relationship better.

The experts also considered patterns of recent spread and the broad geographical distribution of mosquito species that can transmit the virus.

The lack of vaccines and rapid and reliable diagnostic tests, and the absence of population immunity in newly affected countries were cited as further causes for concern.

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