Zika virus and microcephaly: why is this situation a PHEIC?
The Lancet The World Health Organization declared on February 1, the current distribution of the Zika virus to a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). This was not made due to an extensive level of knowledge regarding the virus, but was rather based of what is not known about the clusters of microcephaly reported with outbreak of Zika infection.
Although the virus does not cause serious or lethal disease, the expert committee are mainly concerned on the severity of the neurological defects and on the speed of its dissemination. The virus had already occurred in 1947, but so far research had failed to investigate the pathogen thoroughly. (Photo: Presidencia de la República Dominicana / Flickr)