People arrive at World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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The mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil, is likely to spread to all countries in the Americas except for Canada and Chile, the World Health Organization said Monday.Brazil has reported 3,893 suspected cases of microcephaly, the WHO said last Friday, over 30 times more than in any year since 2010 and equivalent to 1-2 percent of all newborns in the state of Pernambuco, one of the worst-hit areas.Zika's rapid spread, to 21 countries and territories in the Americas since May 2015, is due to the prevalence of Aedes aegypti and a lack of immunity among the population, the WHO said in a statement.Oxitec says its proprietary OX513A mosquito succeeded in reducing wild larvae of the Aedes mosquito by 82 percent in an area of Brazil where 25 million of the transgenic insects were released between April and November. Authorities reported a big drop in dengue cases in the area.
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