The World Health Organization says reports from several countries suggest that sexual transmission of the Zika virus is more common than previously thought.
At a meeting of its emergency committee on Tuesday, 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.”
BREAKING: WHO says sexual transmission of Zika virus is more common than previously thought.
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 8, 2016
Dr. Chan also said nine countries have now reported increasing cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare condition that can cause temporary paralysis and death.
Microcephaly is now only one of several documented birth abnormalities associated with Zika infection during pregnancy. It can cause growth problems, injuries to the central nervous system and fetal death, she added.
WHO last month said the outbreak in the Americas constitutes a global emergency.
(Image: Sandro Campardo/AP)
Dr Chan: We can now conclude that #ZikaVirus is neurotropic, preferentially affecting tissues in the brain & brain stem of the dvlping fetus
— WHO (@WHO) March 8, 2016
As Zika spreads, so does concern about its link to an epidemic of brain defects known as microcephaly. https://t.co/T3LiyTF41I
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) March 7, 2016