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The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the spread of the Zika virus and an associated birth defect, microcephaly, as a global emergency. It is possible that the total number of cases could hit 4 million by the end of the year.
The virus has spread rapidly throughout the Americas infecting people in more than 20 countries. Officials in Brazil, the hardest hit country, have estimated 1.5 million infections.
One of the learnings from the Ebola crisis in West Africa, was that information on the virus wasn't available until too late. That's not happening this time and the WHO has been quick to act. It is essential that D/deaf people are aware of the symptoms of Zika, how it can be prevented and treated. In addition, that information is readily available and accessible in Sign Language. Accordingly, we are collaborating with the WHO to ensure information is available on the WHO website in British, American, Spanish and French Sign. So that the hard to reach constituency of D/deaf children, young people and adults, are able to access accurate information in the language of choice.