WHO, PAHO directors convene in Brazil to discuss Zika response

WHO and PAHO directors recently gathered in Brazil to discuss the appropriate response to the Zika outbreak.

Directors of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) are in Brazil meeting with government and health care officials to discuss the Zika virus and the response it requires.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and PAHO Director Carissa Etienne are meeting with Brazilian Minister of Health Marcelo Castro. WHO Executive Director for Outbreaks and Health Emergencies Bruce Aylward will be in attendance, as well. They will meet with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, in addition to visiting the National Center for Risk and Disaster Management.

During the visit, these top officials will meet with members from national integration, defense, foreign affairs and social development, as well as the executive secretary of the Ministry of Education and the secretary of the government.

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the group visited the Institute of Integrative Medicine Professor Fernando Figueira.

The Zika virus has been spreading rapidly throughout Latin America, with cases popping up in the U.S. The virus can cause neurological damage, but pregnant women face the biggest risk, as the virus can cause microcephaly. Microcephaly causes newborns to be born with unusually small heads, thereby halting brain development.

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