GENEVA,Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization(WHO)Friday said Zika virus infection and its associated congenital and other neurological disorders continues to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,due to continuing geographic expansion and considerable gaps in understanding of the virus and its consequences.
The decision came one day after WHO convened the fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee on microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus.
The Committee congratulated Brazil on their successful application of appropriate public health measures during the Olympic Games.
To date, there have been no reports of confirmed cases of Zika virus among people who attended the Games, both during the games and since their return.
However,69 countries and regions have reported evidence of mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission since last year. Since February 2016, 11 countries have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission of Zika virus.
Acknowledging that the impact of Zika virus is a long term concern, the Committee recommended that the Director General considers developing an appropriate infrastructure and response plan within the WHO to provide longer term coordination and accountability for ensuring an effective response.
Meanwile, the Committee emphasized the need for a better scientific understanding of Zika virus epidemiology, clinical disease, and prevention with recommended several new research issues.
Recognizing the impact that Zika virus disease and its consequences will have on weak health systems, the Committee also recommended that WHO provide appropriate guidance on effective surveillance and management of Zika virus disease in countries with high vulnerability, low capacity.