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The World Health Organization (WHO) updated its guidelines on prevention of the Zika virus in recognition of evidence that the disease persists in the body and can be transmitted sexually for much longer than originally thought.

WHO is now recommending that women who travel to an area of the world affected by the disease, which has been linked to birth defects in babies born to infected women, should wait at least eight weeks before trying to conceive. By that time, the group estimates, the virus will have cleared the body and no longer present a risk to a future baby.

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