WHO declares Zika virus global health emergency

The World Health Organization on Monday declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus an international public health emergency due to its link to thousands of birth defects in Brazil, as the U.N. agency sought to build a global response to the threat.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told reporters that coordinated international action was needed to improve detection and expedite work on a vaccine and better diagnostics for the disease, but said curbs on travel or trade were not necessary.