(BBC) Sexual transmission of the Zika virus is more common than previously thought, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
After an emergency committee meeting on Tuesday, the UN health agency also said there was increasing evidence of links between Zika and various birth defects.
Zika is most commonly spread by mosquitoes but several countries have reported cases of sexual transmission.
The WHO last month said the outbreak constitutes a global emergency.
WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan said “reports and investigations in several countries strongly suggest that sexual transmission of the virus is more common than previously assumed”.
She called the development “alarming”.
Dr Chan also said that microcephaly – a birth defect strongly linked to the Zika outbreak in Brazil – was just one of several conditions that the WHO had linked to the virus.