WHO expects to set link between Zika and microcephaly in weeks, vaccine 18 months

GENEVA The World Health Organization (WHO) expects the suspected links between the Zika virus and two neurological disorders, microcephaly in babies and Guillain-Barre in adults, to be established within weeks, a senior WHO official said on Friday.

“We have a few more weeks to be sure to demonstrate causality, but the link between Zika and Guillain-Barre is highly probable,” Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, told a news briefing.

She said it would take at least 18 months to start clinical trials on humans of candidate vaccines against Zika, adding: “Two vaccine candidates seem to be more advanced: a DNA vaccine from the U.S. National Institutes for Health, and an inactivated product from Bharat Biotech, in India.”

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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