London, Jan.29 (ANI): An alarmed World Health Organisation (WHO) has reportedly convened an emergency meeting to discuss what it called the ‘explosive’ spread of the Zika virus.
The virus has been linked to thousands of birth defects in Latin America.
WHO Director General Margaret Chan said she was ‘deeply concerned’ to hear that the virus has spread to about 23 countries in the America.
Currently, there is no vaccine or cure for Zika, which has been linked to microcephaly, a serious condition that can cause life long developmental problems.
The Guardian quoted Marcos Espinal, a WHO infectious disease expert, as saying that around three to four million Zika virus cases can be expected.
The spread of the virus has prompted governments across the world to advise pregnant women against going to areas where the virus has been detected.
Chan said that in some cases, the virus has been associated with a ‘steep increase in the birth of babies with abnormally small heads’.
A causal relationship between the Zika virus, birth malformations and neurological syndromes has not yet been established, but is strongly suspected.
Chan further added that possible links have rapidly changed the risk profile of Zika from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions.(ANI)