Be the most informed person in the room with Newsy's free e-newsletter

View our privacy policy:
Getty Images / Mario Tama

The Zika Virus Is Spreading And Has 'Pandemic Potential'

The World Health Organization is highly concerned about the Zika virus spreading as more cases are reported.

By Melissa Prax | January 28, 2016

As the Zika virus continues to spread, the World Health Organization says it's "spreading explosively" in the Americas.

WHO director general Dr. Margaret Chan said during a speech in Geneva, "The level of concern is high, as is the level of uncertainity." 

Currently, there's no cure or vaccine for the mosquito-borne disease that's believed to have caused birth defects and killed newborns, prompting countries to urge women not to get pregnant.

Article Continues Below

However, medical experts say the disease only causes minor symptoms for adults and most children. (Video via Expedia)

Zika began spreading in May and now is in 23 countries. Several U.S. travelers have reportedly gotten the virus after returning from Central America and South America.

On Wednesday, one medical journal warned the spread has "pandemic potential." Part of this potential is from air travel, which can transport sick patients and infected mosquitoes.

This video includes images from Getty Images. 

Want to see more stories like this?
Like Newsy on Facebook for More South America Coverage