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Is there a connection between the Zika virus and birth defects?




A city worker fumigates to combat the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus, at the San Judas Community in San Salvador, El Salvador, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.  Worries about the rapid spread of Zika through the hemisphere has prompted officials in El Salvador, Colombia and Brazil to suggest women stop getting pregnant until the crisis has passed. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
A city worker fumigates to combat the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus, at the San Judas Community in San Salvador, El Salvador, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Worries about the rapid spread of Zika through the hemisphere has prompted officials in El Salvador, Colombia and Brazil to suggest women stop getting pregnant until the crisis has passed. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
Salvador Melendez/AP

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The World Health Organization says the Zika virus constitutes an international public health emergency.

Part of that warning has to do with a suspected link between the mosquito-born illness and birth defects, a link that the WHO says "is not yet proven."

But there's still a lot that scientists are trying to understand about the disease.

"There's certainly no clue of a vaccine, so much more needs to be done on the scientific level to understand how this transmission happens," said Dr. Karin Nielsen, professor of clinical pediatrics at UCLA's division of infectious diseases.