WHO issues $56 million plan to combat Zika virus

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Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff during a visit to a Rio de Janeiro neighbourhood as part of a Zika awareness campaign earlier in the week.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that $56 million were needed to combat the Zika virus until June, including for the fast-tracking of vaccines, diagnostics and research studies into how it spreads.

The funds, including $25 million for the WHO and its regional office, would also be used to control the mosquito-borne virus that has spread to 39 countries, including 34 in the Americas.

The WHO expects the funds to come from member states and other donors and said that in the meantime it has tapped a new emergency contingency fund for $2 million to finance its initial operations. — Reuters

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