STDs

WHO sees Zika outbreak spreading through the Americas

A health worker fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighbourhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

A health worker fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighbourhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas  (Copyright Reuters 2016)

The mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is suspected of causing brain damage to babies in Brazil, is expected to spread to all countries in the Americas except for Canada and Chile, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

The WHO said women planning to travel to areas where Zika is circulating should consult a healthcare provider before traveling and on return. Zika can be transmitted though blood, and has also been isolated in human semen, but more evidence is needed to confirm if it can be sexually transmitted, WHO said.