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FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2016, file photo, a female Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the Zika virus, acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute of Sao Paulo University in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

Zika is no longer a public health emergency


Back in February, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

On Friday, the organization retracted the label, but that doesn't mean all is good.

We are not downgrading the importance of Zika. By placing this as a long-term program of work, we are saying Zika is here to stay.
Dr. David Heymann, WHO

The spread of the virus has been linked to microcephaly among babies born in areas with where the virus was spreading.

With the virus being far from eradicated, the WHO announced it will create a technical committee to handle Zika research, vaccine development and other efforts going forward.

Stateside, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement that this announcement does not change the continued efforts to combat the virus and its effects.

It remains crucially important that pregnant women avoid traveling to areas with local transmission of Zika, because of the devastating complications that can occur in fetuses that become infected during pregnancy.

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