" --IANS"
Brasilia, May 12 - Brazil has declared an end to a national emergency over the Zika virus after a sharp decrease in cases, the media reported on Friday.

The number of cases dropped 95 per cent between January and April, compared to the same period a year ago, the BBC quoted Health Ministry officials as saying in a statement.

There were 7,911 cases reported in this period, compared to 170,535 cases reported in the same time in 2016, it said.

No deaths related to the virus have been reported this year, it added, saying that eight people died last year.

Brazil had declared a national emergency in November 2015.

The virus has been linked to the birth of babies with abnormally small heads.

The threat was at its peak as Brazil prepared to host the 2016 Olympics.

The World Health Organisation lifted its own international emergency last November.

The Zika virus has been linked to severe birth defects in almost 30 countries.

--IANS

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