The mosquito-borne Zika virus that causes microcephaly and other birth defects is no longer a world health emergency, according to the World Health Organization. It is a virus that requires a long-term approach. USA Today reports: By downgrading the emergency status for Zika, the organization will now shift to a longer-term approach for fighting the virus that has spread across Latin America, the Caribbean and beyond. Zika was also found in parts of the Miami area. The virus "is not going away," WHO said on Twitter. "Countries need to be prepared and strengthen detection and prevention, as well as care and support for people." Nearly 30 countries have reported birth defects linked to the virus. WHO, which designated the health emergency in February, says more than 2,100 cases of nervous-system malformations have been reported in Brazil alone. The virus continues to spread geographically to areas where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are established, the organization noted. Most people who are infected by the virus do not get sick, but can suffer fever, rash and joint pain. The virus, however, can cause birth defects, including microcephaly, in which infants are born with abnormally small heads and incomplete brain development.
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