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WHO says sexual transmission of Zika more common than thought

Published:Tuesday | March 8, 2016 | 3:57 PM
Director General of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan (center) listens to Paulo Gadelha, President of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil’s premier state-run research institute for tropical diseases (left) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on February 24.

GENEVA (AP):
The World Health Organization says reports from several countries suggest that sexual transmission of the Zika virus is more common than previously thought.

After a meeting of its emergency committee today, the UN health agency also said there is increasing evidence that a spike in disturbing birth defects is caused by Zika, which is mostly spread by mosquito bites.

Director General Dr Margaret Chan said "reports and investigations in several countries strongly suggest that sexual transmission of the virus is more common than previously assumed."

The agency last month said the outbreak in the Americas constitutes a global emergency.