The Zika virus outbreak in the Americas was declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday.
Citing its Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, the WHO posted a Twitter message describing the Zika virus and microcephaly situation as a “Public Health Emergency of Intl concern”.
Microcephaly is a birth defect affecting brain development in fetuses that has been linked to, but not proven to be caused by, the virus.
The WHO convened an emergency committee on the mosquito-borne virus on Monday following a sharp rise in the number of Zika cases across the Americas, where thousands of people in 22 countries and territories have been infected.
There is no vaccine or treatment.