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WHO: No Proof of Zika Spread Through Breastfeeding

Daniele Ferreira dos Santos feeds her son Juan Pedro, who suffers from microcephaly, as they wait to be examined at the Altino Ventura Foundation, a treatment center that provides free health care, in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil, Feb. 4, 2016.

The World Health Organization said Thursday there is no proof the Zika virus spreads to infants through breast milk and advises women in Zika-affected countries to continue breastfeeding their babies.

Zika had been detected in breast milk from two infected mothers but there is no evidence the virus had been transmitted to babies via breastfeeding, the organization said in a statement. The guidance said the health benefits of breastfeeding newborns outweighs any potential mother-to-child transmission risk.

Zika became a global health crisis following an increase in birth defects in Brazil, where more than one million people are infected. The virus has spread rapidly across the Americas in recent months.