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[Comment] A crucial time for public health preparedness: Zika virus and the 2016 Olympics, Umrah, and Hajj

The 138th session of WHO’s Executive Board on Jan 25, 2016, noted both the end of the 2014 Ebola crisis and the beginning of a global public health threat, the outbreak of Zika virus infection in the Americas.1 On Jan 15, 2016, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised pregnant women to refrain from travelling to countries affected by Zika, given a possible association between Zika virus infection with microcephaly and other neurological disorders.2 On Feb 1, 2016, WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee declared the possible association between Zika virus infection and clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

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