WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Zika virus and its complications are no longer a global public health emergency but remains a challenge, World Health Organization (WHO) Communicable Disease director Dr. David Heymann said on Friday.
The Zika virus and associated complications are no longer classified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern but remain a "significant public health challenge requiring intense action," Heymann told reporters.
The WHO Emergency Committee recommended the public health emergency in February 2016 after a cluster of Zika-related neurological disorders was discovered in Brazil, following a similar cluster in French Polynesia.
Heymann stressed that all countries with Aedes mosquitos remain at risk for local mosquito-borne transmission.
The virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito, which is common in tropical areas of the Americas. Zika poses little threat to the general population, but is suspected of leading to severe brain defects and cases of microcephaly in newborns.