The Mosquito virus Zika is spreading: WHO asked to consider emergency meeting

The Mosquito virus Zika is spreading: WHO asked to consider emergency meeting
Women in several countries are now asked not to become pregnant for the next two years.

The so-called Zika virus is spreading with great speed. Norway's Disease Control Director has now asked the World Health Organization to consider an emergency meeting, reports VG.

The Zika virus is already registered in 21 countries in South and North America and the Caribbean, according to WHO.

The virus is believed to lead to children being born with mikrokefali, ie underdeveloped brain, if the mother becomes infected while she is pregnant.

Health authorities on the island of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, which belongs to the US, confirmed on Tuesday night that 18 people are infected with the virus. In addition, over 200 possible cases are being investigated, reports AP.

- They should consider whether the Zika epidemic now is to be defined as a global health crisis, a definition that requires several criteria, says Disease Control Director John-Arne Røttingen.

The epidemic has led the government in El Salvador to warn women not to become pregnant for the next two years. Earlier, authorities in Jamaica, Ecuador and Colombia have given similar pleas to postpone pregnancy.

- If we do not give any advice to the population, it can end up with many cases of mikrokefali. Of these children 99 percent will survive, but with brain damage, says Deputy Minister of Health in El Salvador, Eduardo Antonio Espinoza Fiallos, to the New York Times.

In Brazil, the authorities have registered over one million cases of Zika fever and believe that the virus has led to at least 4,000 newborns being born with brain damage.

The Brazilian authorities have declared an outbreak and a national emergency.

The government is working feverishly to gain control of the outbreak before the Olympics in August.

The Brazilian government is set to deploy 220,000 soldiers to spread information about the virus. From February 13, troops will go from house to house to hand out information leaflets about how the spread of the virus can be avoided, reports BBC.

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