WHO seeks $25 million to fight Zika

WHO seeks $25 million to fight Zika
Highlights

The World Health Organisation will seek $25 million for a six-month programme to fight the Zika virus linked to birth defects, including studies on whether it is spread by sex or by blood transfusion, a senior WHO official said.

The World Health Organisation will seek $25 million for a six-month programme to fight the Zika virus linked to birth defects, including studies on whether it is spread by sex or by blood transfusion, a senior WHO official said.

Two cases of Zika being transmitted through blood transfusions were reported in Brazil on Thursday, adding to concerns over the virus that has been linked to microcephaly, a condition that can cause severe birth defects. Dr. Sylvie Briand, director of WHO’s department of pandemic and epidemic diseases, said pregnant women in affected countries must have access to counseling and technology to make informed choices, including whether to abort foetuses with microcephaly.

Briand, asked about several suspected cases of Zika spread by sex or by blood transfusion, said mosquitoes remained the “main route”.

“There might be other modes of transmission, but for which we need to gather evidence and to develop specific studies to ascertain that this is a real mode of transmission,” she said in a telephone interview.The WHO, which declared Zika an international emergency on Monday.

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