February 1, 2016 / 7:12 PM / 4 years ago

CDC director says WHO declaration 'calls world to action' on Zika

A health worker empties a makeshift flower vase while searching for mosquito larvae as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases at the cemetery of Carabayllo on the outskirts of Lima, Peru February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday the World Health Organization’s declaration of Zika as a global health emergency will focus new attention and resources on fighting the virus.

U.S. CDC Dr. Thomas Frieden said the declaration “calls the world to action” on Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to thousands of cases of a birth defect in Brazil and is rapidly spreading in Latin America.

“CDC, along with the entire U.S. government, is actively involved in the world’s Zika response and working 24/7 to learn more about the virus and protect health,” Frieden said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Chris Reese

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