<p>In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Alabama public health officials are working to get a better understanding of what resources are available for vector control efforts amid rising concerns over the Zika virus. Alabama Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Director Andy Mullins says the state is awaiting the results of an assessment to determine what kinds of mosquito control resources are available at the city and county level. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)</p>
GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. health agency says sexual transmission of Zika is more common than first thought. It is updating its advice to women who have been in areas hit by the virus, telling them to wait even longer to conceive.
The World Health Organization said Tuesday that couples or women planning pregnancy who live in or are returning from Zika-hit areas "are strongly recommended to wait at least eight weeks before trying to conceive" to ensure the virus has cleared their bodies.
Previously, WHO recommended a four-week minimum period before trying to conceive in such circumstances.
The current outbreak of Zika has been linked to microcephaly, a rare defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and brain damage, and an unusual paralyzing condition known as Guillain-Barre syndrome.
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