The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that widespread spraying to eliminate mosquitoes has failed to significantly stop the spread of dengue fever. The agency suggested it may be the same case for the Zika virus, which has been linked to neurological disorders, including microcephaly.
The announcement in Geneva on Wednesday came as Brazil's health ministry said the number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly had risen to 4,976 - up from 4,863 a week earlier. Of these, the number of confirmed cases increased by a hundred in one week - to 745.
A three-day meeting of experts called for a quicker development of tools to diagnose Zika infections and of vaccines to prevent the disease.
WHO Assistant Director General Marie-Paule Kieny said experts concurred there was no evidence that traditional mosquito control methods had had any significant impact on transmission of dengue, a virus close to Zika.
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