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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has [warning / warned] that the Zika virus outbreak in Latin America could [turn / turning] into a global pandemic. Many scientists say the outbreak could be more [seriously / serious] than the Ebola virus. Ebola killed over 11,000 people in West Africa in 2014 and 2015. The WHO [estimated / estimate] that the Zika virus could [infect / infection] four million people by the end of 2016. The [viral / virus] has been advancing across South and Central America in the [past / passed] year. Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the WHO, warned that Zika is "spreading explosively". She added that it has [quick / quickly] gone from being a mild threat to being [frightening / frightened] . Warmer weather means the mosquito that carries the virus is also spreading [worldwide / world] .

The Zika virus is linked to a large [raise / rise] in birth defects in Brazil and surrounding countries. In [particular / peculiar] , scientists say it causes a disease [name / called] microcephaly. This is where a baby is born with a smaller head than normal, and [within / with] brain damage. Health officials in Brazil reported that around 4,000 babies were born with microcephaly last year. This compares to [fewer / smaller] than 150 cases in 2014. The Colombian government has just [reported / report] that more than 2,100 pregnant women in Colombia are infected [with / of] the virus. There is no vaccine for Zika and it will be difficult to find [one / some] . A doctor said a vaccine would have to be tested on [pregnancy / pregnant] women, and that would be "a [practical / practically] and ethical nightmare".

 
 

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