WHO warns pregnant women about Zika ahead of Rio Olympics

Published: May. 12, 2016 at 12:13 PM CDT
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The World Health Organization is warning pregnant women not to travel to areas with Zika, and advising other travelers to take precautions against the mosquitoes that spread the virus ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the U.N. health agency also said that since Zika can also be spread sexually, pregnant women should abstain from sex or practice safe sex with anyone who has recently returned from areas with outbreaks. Zika has now been proven to cause a range of disturbing birth defects, including babies born with abnormally small heads.

Earlier this week, a Canadian professor called for the Olympics to be postponed or moved because of the epidemic, arguing that holding the games would result in the avoidable birth of malformed babies.

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