The recent spread of the Zika virus has been declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization. WHO estimates there could be up to 4 million cases of Zika in tha Americas in the next year.
Zika virus: Brazilian army canvass neighborhoods – Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
The Zika outbreak in Brazil began last May, and has been heavily researched in recent months. Reportedly the country has an estimated 1.5 million infections.
“After a review of the evidence, the committee advised that the clusters of microcephaly [abnormally small heads/brain damage in infants] and other neurological complications constitute an extraordinary event and public health threat to other parts of the world,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said.
The mosquito-borne virus causes fever-like symptoms for adults, and can be dangerous for pregnant women and lead to birth defects in babies.
The CDC said last week that a major Zika virus outbreak in the United States is unlikely. However, they may warn women about traveling to countries such as Brazil.