• Brazil to fund development of vaccine for Zika virus


    SAO PAULO (AP) — The Brazilian government says it is directing funds to a biomedical research center to help develop a vaccine against a virus linked to brain damage in babies.

    Health Minister Marcelo Castro says the goal is to develop "in record time" a vaccine for Zika, which is spread through mosquito bites.

    Zika infection in pregnant women has been linked to a rare condition called microcephaly, in which the head is smaller than normal and the brain does not develop properly.

    Brazil's Health Ministry says 3,530 babies have been born with microcephaly in the country since October.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert Friday advising pregnant women to avoid traveling to Brazil and several other countries in the Americas where Zika outbreaks have occurred.

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