This site uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience. Read more.
Switzerland: WHO declares Zika threat an 'international emergency'02:43

Switzerland: WHO declares Zika threat an 'international emergency'

Switzerland, Geneva
February 2, 2016 at 20:32 GMT +00:00 · Published

The director for maternal, child and adolescent health at the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that the potential spread of the Zika virus was "a matter of public health concern and constitutes an international emergency" while speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Tuesday.

"This is not a life threatening infection like HIV or like Ebola. But the problem is that the complications of this relatively mild illness do have potentially devastating effects for families," Dr Anthony Costello said.

"To have a child with microcephaly and to have a tenfold increase in numbers and the potential for spread, not just across Latin America but into Africa and into Asia which has the highest birthrates in the world, we believe is a matter of public health concern and constitutes an international emergency. Particularly given that our tools for detecting both the virus and also for doing the surveillance for this relatively rare condition, need to be worked on urgently," he added.

Costello continued, noting that WHo "do not have a commercially available diagnostic test and further the tests that we do have only detect the virus when it is active."

The virus has spread across more than 20 countries, mostly in the Americas. Brazil has reported as many as 4,000 cases since October.

Switzerland: WHO declares Zika threat an 'international emergency'02:43
Pool for subscribers only
No Account? Sign up!
Description

The director for maternal, child and adolescent health at the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that the potential spread of the Zika virus was "a matter of public health concern and constitutes an international emergency" while speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Tuesday.

"This is not a life threatening infection like HIV or like Ebola. But the problem is that the complications of this relatively mild illness do have potentially devastating effects for families," Dr Anthony Costello said.

"To have a child with microcephaly and to have a tenfold increase in numbers and the potential for spread, not just across Latin America but into Africa and into Asia which has the highest birthrates in the world, we believe is a matter of public health concern and constitutes an international emergency. Particularly given that our tools for detecting both the virus and also for doing the surveillance for this relatively rare condition, need to be worked on urgently," he added.

Costello continued, noting that WHo "do not have a commercially available diagnostic test and further the tests that we do have only detect the virus when it is active."

The virus has spread across more than 20 countries, mostly in the Americas. Brazil has reported as many as 4,000 cases since October.

Top downloads in last 24 hours
01:35
Turkey: Buildings collapse in Bayrakli after deadly 7.0-magnitude earthquake hitsTurkey: Buildings collapse in Bayrakli after deadly 7.0-magnitude earthquake hits
October 30, 2020 at 15:30 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
00:50
USA: CalWood Fire wipes out houses as it rages on in ColoradoUSA: CalWood Fire wipes out houses as it rages on in Colorado
October 19, 2020 at 14:03 GMT +00:00
02:51
Turkey: Drone footage shows rescue efforts underway after earthquake topples building in Izmir provinceTurkey: Drone footage shows rescue efforts underway after earthquake topples building in Izmir province
October 30, 2020 at 18:39 GMT +00:00
04:11
El Salvador: At least 7 killed and over 35 missing in Nejapa landslideEl Salvador: At least 7 killed and over 35 missing in Nejapa landslide
October 31, 2020 at 02:12 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:12
Russia: Volcano Karymsky spews out five-kilometre column of ashRussia: Volcano Karymsky spews out five-kilometre column of ash
October 24, 2020 at 13:27 GMT +00:00
03:16
Turkey: Deadly earthquake causes flooding in Izmir's SeferihisarTurkey: Deadly earthquake causes flooding in Izmir's Seferihisar
October 30, 2020 at 16:20 GMT +00:00
03:14
Turkey: 16 y/o survivor pulled from under rubble as rescue efforts underway in IzmirTurkey: 16 y/o survivor pulled from under rubble as rescue efforts underway in Izmir
October 31, 2020 at 08:33 GMT +00:00
01:12
Turkey: Residents inspect collapsed building in Izmir following earthquakeTurkey: Residents inspect collapsed building in Izmir following earthquake
October 30, 2020 at 18:02 GMT +00:00
02:29
USA: National Guard deployed in Philadelphia ahead of citywide curfew after police shooting unrestUSA: National Guard deployed in Philadelphia ahead of citywide curfew after police shooting unrest
October 30, 2020 at 20:00 GMT +00:00
00:44
Turkey: Survivor pulled from rubble following rescue operation in IzmirTurkey: Survivor pulled from rubble following rescue operation in Izmir
October 30, 2020 at 19:01 GMT +00:00
01:49
Nagorno-Karabakh: Shelling damages building near Shusha's historic cathedral Nagorno-Karabakh: Shelling damages building near Shusha's historic cathedral
October 30, 2020 at 00:54 GMT +00:00
02:14
Pakistan: Protesters hang effigy of Macron in KarachiPakistan: Protesters hang effigy of Macron in Karachi
October 31, 2020 at 05:08 GMT +00:00
04:57
Tunisia: 'My son does not do such things' - relatives of Nice attack suspect react to church killingsTunisia: 'My son does not do such things' - relatives of Nice attack suspect react to church killings
October 31, 2020 at 01:52 GMT +00:00
02:09
Poland: Tens of thousands march against abortion ban in Warsaw *DRONE FOOTAGE*Poland: Tens of thousands march against abortion ban in Warsaw *DRONE FOOTAGE*
October 30, 2020 at 23:00 GMT +00:00
01:02
Russia: Oxygen station explodes in Chelyabinsk hospitalRussia: Oxygen station explodes in Chelyabinsk hospital
October 31, 2020 at 11:30 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:11
Turkey: Cars stranded on Izmir coast in scenes of destruction after earthquakeTurkey: Cars stranded on Izmir coast in scenes of destruction after earthquake
October 30, 2020 at 16:54 GMT +00:00
01:40
Greece: Samos streets flooded after earthquake triggers mini-tsunamiGreece: Samos streets flooded after earthquake triggers mini-tsunami
October 30, 2020 at 19:00 GMT +00:00
03:45
Spain: Anti-lockdown protesters clash with police in BarcelonaSpain: Anti-lockdown protesters clash with police in Barcelona
October 31, 2020 at 03:43 GMT +00:00
03:29
France: Tear gas flies as protesters rally against nationwide lockdown in ParisFrance: Tear gas flies as protesters rally against nationwide lockdown in Paris
October 30, 2020 at 03:04 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
00:38
Ukraine: Two dead after driver rams into car and pedestrians in centre of Kiev Ukraine: Two dead after driver rams into car and pedestrians in centre of Kiev
October 30, 2020 at 18:58 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
00:15
France: Record traffic jam in Paris as second nationwide lockdown comes into forceFrance: Record traffic jam in Paris as second nationwide lockdown comes into force
October 30, 2020 at 11:57 GMT +00:00
01:37
Turkey: Rescue efforts underway after deadly earthquake hits BayrakliTurkey: Rescue efforts underway after deadly earthquake hits Bayrakli
October 30, 2020 at 16:39 GMT +00:00
03:08
France: Paris deserted as country enters second national COVID lockdownFrance: Paris deserted as country enters second national COVID lockdown
October 30, 2020 at 17:54 GMT +00:00
View all videos