11 Mar 2016

WHO says new Zika research will help region's response

6:38 pm on 11 March 2016

The World Health Organisation in the Western Pacific region says new research on the Zika virus will help the region respond.

Earlier this week, the WHO convened for emergency talks on the virus in Geneva.

It announced new research has strengthened the link between Zika and foetal abnormalities, and sexual transmission of the virus is more common than previously thought.

A medical officer in emerging disease at the WHO in Suva, Eric Nilles says the evidence is growing.

"For countries that have Zika virus or are at risk of Zika virus, understanding that there's a real risk of these associated neurological complications, I think galvanises the preparedness and galvanises the response."

The virus has so far spread to six Pacific countries, and the WHO has warned that's expected to increase with the rainy season continuing over the next few months.

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