WHO says increasing evidence of Zika link with microcephaly

The World Health Organization said on Friday there was an increasing accumulation of evidence of an association between the Zika virus and microcephaly, a neurological disorder in babies, but it could take 4-6 months to prove.

The WHO said it was convening a meeting on March 7-9 on research into Zika diagnostics and vaccines "similar to what we did in the early days of Ebola". It will also convene an advisory group on mosquito control in 3-4 weeks.

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The WHO declared the outbreak an international health emergency on Feb. 1, citing a "strongly suspected" relationship between the Zika virus, which is carried by mosquitoes, and infection in pregnancy and microcephaly. The disease has been linked to severe birth defects in Brazil and has spread to nearly 30 countries and territories.