Scientists: Zika May Become 'Explosive Pandemic'
Don't mess this up like Ebola, they tell WHO
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2016 8:31 AM CST
A woman holds her daughter as she sleeps in their house in Recife, Brazil, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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(Newser) – US scientists want the World Health Organization to call an emergency meeting to address the Zika virus, the mosquito-borne disease they say has "explosive pandemic potential," the BBC reports. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the scientists also warn the WHO not to make the same mistakes it made during the Ebola crisis—errors they claim may have cost "thousands of lives." More Zika developments:

  • The "under pressure" WHO is set to convene Thursday in Geneva in a special session to address the crisis, per Reuters.
  • The New York Times' editorial board agrees with the US scientists' call to action, imploring the WHO to "not repeat its sluggish response" to Ebola and to "act urgently this time to mobilize international action."

  • Meanwhile, USA Today reports that the US in particular should prep for the "inevitable arrival" of the virus.
  • The BBC documents a city in Brazil where as many as 100,000 people may have already been infected.
  • A handy chart in the Economist shows where Zika is proliferating in the Americas.
  • A perhaps-unexpected effect of the virus: a possible push to get around abortion bans in South America, via Wired.
(Airlines are now offering refunds for travel to places affected by Zika.)