Zika: Colombia cases in pregnant women double in a week

A pregnant Colombian woman, infected with the Zika virus, sits in a clinic

The number of pregnant women in Colombia infected with the Zika virus has doubled in a week, officials said.

Almost 2,000 pregnant women now have the virus, Colombia’s National Health Institute said, out of the more than 20,000 people infected across Colombia.

The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to babies being born with abnormally small brains.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned Zika is “spreading explosively”, predicting up to 4m cases this year.

On Monday, the WHO meets to decide whether Zika should be treated as a global emergency.

Brazil has been worst affected by the outbreak, followed by Colombia, but more than 20 other countries have seen cases.

Jamaica and Peru reported their first confirmed cases over the weekend, with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala urging calm and stressing that the patient contracted the disease outside of the country.

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