World News

Brazil says microcephaly cases linked to Zika rise to 4,863

Lucas, 4-months old, who is Miriam Araujos's second child and born with microcephaly, sleeps on a hammock at their house, in Sao Jose dos Cordeiros, Brazil early February 17, 2016. Picture taken on February 17, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil associated with the Zika virus has risen to 4,863 from 4,690 a week earlier, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.

Of these, the number of confirmed cases climbed to 641 from 583 a week earlier, while suspected ones under investigation increased to 4,222 from 4,107 in the same period.

Brazil considers most of the cases of babies born with abnormally small heads to be related to Zika, though the link between the virus and the birth defects has not been scientifically established.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Daniel Flynn, G Crosse