The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus as a global health emergency on 1 Feb. The outbreak of this virus, which is suspected of causing microcephaly and neurological problems, was first detected in Brazil in May 2015 and has now spread to more than 20 countries. The Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also carries other diseases such as the dengue and chikungunya. WHO estimates that up to four million people are likely to be infected by Zika virus by the end of 2016. Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the WHO, stated that the Zika virus was given the designation of emergency in order to ensure that people are alerted to the problem, and governments and non-profit organizations mobilize funds to take prompt action to stop the outbreak. Many research teams across the world are attempting to create a vaccine that would prevent and cure person who has come in contact with the virus.
Read more in The New York Times.