The recent, dramatic increase in babies in Brazil born with microcephaly — underdeveloped skulls and brains — that has been linked with the Zika virus constitutes "a public health emergency of international concern," Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, said today. Clusters of microcephaly and other neurological complications that are possibly linked to the virus make up "an extraordinary event and a public health threat to other parts of the world," Chan said at a news conference in Geneva today (Feb. 1). However, Chan noted that the Zika virus itself, which is spread by mosquitos and typically causes only mild symptoms and sometimes none at all, did not merit emergency status.
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