The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking to expand its response to the Zika virus in Latin America.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan visited Brazil and met with Brazilian officials in an effort to put an end to the outbreak.
Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, also took part in the visit. Chan met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and visited the National Center for Risk and Disaster Management in Brasilia.
WHO recently launched the global Strategic Response Framework and Joint Operations Plan in order to help mobilize health experts to better respond the outbreak of the Zika virus. WHO declared a public emergency at the beginning of February, after the first meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee. The meeting was held to discuss the Zika virus.
“A coordinated international response is needed to improve surveillance, the detection of infections, congenital malformations and neurological complications -- to intensify the control of mosquito populations and to expedite the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines to protect people at risk, especially during pregnancy,” Chan said.
The virus can cause microcephaly, which causes newborns to be born with unusually small heads.