Brazil says confirmed and suspected microcephaly cases rise to 5,131

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen inside Oxitec laboratory in Campinas, Brazil, February 2, 2016. Picture taken February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil associated with the Zika virus has risen to 5,131 from 4,976 a week earlier, the Ministry of Health said on Friday.

Of these, the number of confirmed cases climbed to 863 from 745 a week earlier, while suspected ones increased to 4,268 from 4,231 in the same period.

Brazil considered 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 Chizu Nomiyama