Reuters International

Passengers arriving from Singapore walk near a banner about Zika virus at the Soekarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 30, 2016. The banner reads, "Beware of mosquitoes that spread Zika virus." REUTERS/Beawiharta

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GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that its Emergency Committee on Zika would meet on Thursday to review the outbreak's evolution and neurological birth defects linked to the mosquito-borne virus.

The panel of independent experts led by Dr. David Heymann, which last met on June 14, convenes every three months to assess progress in the fight against the disease and malformations including microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies.

The Zika virus was detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas. Singapore on Monday confirmed 15 new cases of locally transmitted infections, taking the tally to 56 as authorities step up efforts to contain the outbreak.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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