Monday, February 01, 2016

WHO: Zika Virus & Microcephaly Constitute A PHEIC (Public Health Emergency)


Although a causal link between the Zika virus and the apparent spike in microcephaly in Brazil has yet to be established the World Health Organization has decided the recent surge in microcephalic births is reason enough to declare a PHEIC (Public Health Emergency Of International Concern).

By itself, the Zika Virus would not be considered a public health emergency, according to panel chair David Heymann, as it is normally a mild virus.  

But when you add in the clusters of microcephaly in French Polynesia and Brazil - and reports of increased Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) - all concurrent with the arrival of Zika, the overall picture warrants today's emergency declaration.

Statements from Director-General Margaret Chan and panel Chair David Heymann - along with transcripts from the press conference - should be available shortly.  I'll update this post when they become available.