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Zika virus international health emergency over — WHO

November 19, 2016, 0:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"Many aspects of this disease and associated consequences still remain to be understood, but this can best be done through sustained research," the World Health Organization said.

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MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Friday that Zika virus no longer represents the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

"Zika virus and associated consequences remain a significant enduring public health challenge requiring intense action but no longer represent a PHEIC," the statement reads. "Many aspects of this disease and associated consequences still remain to be understood, but this can best be done through sustained research."

The WHO Emergency Committee on Zika recommended transforming the current global effort "into a sustained program of work with dedicated resources to address the long-term nature of the disease and its associated consequences."

The mosquito-borne virus, previously considered mild, came into spotlight last year, following reports if an extraordinary cluster of microcephaly and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil and a similar cluster in French Polynesia that could be associated to it.

A subsequent research showed that Zika virus infection during pregnancy may cause congenital brain abnormalities, including microcephaly; and the Guillain-Barre syndrome. The link between Zika virus and a range of other neurological disorders is currently being studied.

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