IMAGE: Day Donaldson/Flickr

The World Health Organisation has declared the Zika virus a global health emergency, with Australian authorities being put on high alert to prevent the mosquito-borne infection from reaching our shores. Overnight, WHO’s Emergency Committee found there to be a strong enough links between Zika infections and congenital birth defects to declare the rapidly-spreading outbreak in the Americas a public health emergency of international concern. With warnings that the Zika virus could infect up to 4 million people this year in the Americas alone, what does this mean for those affected, and what is the likelihood of an outbreak in Australia?

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