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WHO Zika Emergency Committee Advises Pregnant Women To Avoid Travel To Zika-Affected Areas, Take Precautions To Prevent Sexual Transmission

News outlets discuss the outcomes of the second meeting of the WHO’s Zika emergency committee and a briefing by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.

CIDRAP News: Growing Zika complication data color advice from WHO panel
“Only five weeks after its first meeting, a World Health Organization (WHO) Zika emergency committee met [Tuesday] to discuss rapidly accumulating evidence that shows a stronger link between the virus and serious complications such as birth defects and neurologic problems, which led to stronger and more finely tuned recommendations…” (Schnirring, 3/8).

New York Times: WHO Advises Pregnant Women to Avoid Areas Where Zika Is Spreading
“The World Health Organization advised pregnant women on Tuesday to avoid travel to areas where the Zika virus is spreading. Experts on the organization’s Zika emergency committee also recommended that pregnant women and their partners who have been in areas with Zika rely on abstinence or safe sex to prevent sexual transmission of the virus…” (McNeil, 3/8).

Reuters: WHO advises pregnant women to avoid travel to Zika-affected areas
“…Sexual transmission is ‘relatively common’ and health services in Zika-affected areas should be ready for potential increases in cases of neurological syndromes such as microcephaly and congenital malformations, it said…” (Nebehay/Miles, 3/8).

Washington Post: WHO warns pregnant women to avoid going to Zika-affected areas
“…David Heymann, an infectious disease specialist who is heading the WHO emergency committee on Zika, pointed to the accumulating evidence linking the pathogen to birth defects and neurological disorders in adults. ‘We felt we needed to make this recommendation,’ he said, adding that it remains up to individual countries to designate regions where there are ongoing outbreaks ‘and where there are not’…” (Sun, 3/8).