POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES IN LAST 24 HOURS (10.22.2021, 5:45pm CEST, WHO):   U.S. 74,227    India 15,786    Brazil 15,609    United Kingdom 51,484    Russia 37,141    Turkey 28,465    France 5,498    Iran 11,788    Argentina 1,218    Columbia 1,224    Italy 3,791    Germany 19,572    Mexico 5,069    Poland 5,716    Philippines 4,806    Ukraine 23,785    Malaysia 6,210    Peru 1,034    Netherlands 5,223    Iraq 1,882    Thailand 9,810    Czechia 3,638    Canada 2,641    Chile 1,793    Romania 15,410    Serbia 7,327    Kazakhstan 1,893    Cuba 1,435    Vietnam 3,636    Hungary 2,548    Austria 3,818    Greece 3,376    Georgia 4,155    Belarus 2,097    Bulgaria 4,816    Azerbaijan 2,005    Slovakia 3,470    Croatia 3,258    Ireland 2,026    Venezuela 1,254    Lithuania 3,016    Denmark 1,247    South Korea 1,440    Moldova 1,787    Slovenia 1,845    Armenia 2,146    Latvia 3,133    Estonia 1,323    China 51    Singapore 3,439    New Zealand 134    Australia 2,643   

WHO: Zika virus link to babies' small heads circumstantial

Staff writer |
The World Health Organization says it suspects a link between Zika virus and a rare birth defect that gives babies abnormally small heads, but says so far the evidence is circumstantial.

Article continues below






Brazil is hit by a large Zika outbreak and approcimately 4,000 cases of microcephaly.

"Although a causal link between Zika infection in pregnancy and microcephaly has not been established, the circumstantial evidence is suggestive and extremely worrisome," Director-general Dr. Margaret Chan said in a statement.

"An increased occurrence of neurological syndromes, noted in some countries coincident with arrival of the virus, adds to the concern."

The U.N. health agency announced plans to hold a special session in Geneva on Thursday to brief member states about Zika.

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said the "big task" of health officials is to try to establish a link between the virus and microcephaly, which involves abnormally small heads in newborns and can affect brain development.

The virus, which has been around for decades, has no known link to cases of microcephaly, Lindmeier said, adding that a 1997 outbreak of Zika in Africa was not associated with any cases of microcephaly.

"That's why it's so important to look now into this connection and see what is going on there."


What to read next

First case of Zika-linked glaucoma diagnosed in infant
Impaired eyesight may be first sign of Zika damage in babies
Zika virus likely to spread to southern United States