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More countries confirm discovery of Zika virus cases

Countries including South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago have confirmed their first cases of Zika virus.

More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have contracted the virus, its government has said.

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Brazilian judge 'will allow abortions for some Zika patients'

The judge said women must prove their baby had no chance of survival Credit: PA

A Brazilian judge has reportedly said he is willing to grant abortions to women who have caught Zika and whose babies have been catastrophically brain damaged.

Judge Jesseir Coelho de Alcantara said abortion could be considered "valid" for some women affected by the virus, according to reports in the German newspaper Breitbart, citing BBC Brasil.

Zika has been sweeping through Brazil and is linked to permanent brain damage in unborn babies. Some of the children affected may die while others will survive but with severe disabilities.

The judge said he would only permit a termination if a woman could prove her child was brain damaged and was not expected to survive as a result - a high legal bar.

However, it may point to a softening on Brazil's strong anti-abortion laws, amid growing pressure from activists who have called for the terminations to be made legal during the Zika outbreak.

The country currently only allows abortions only in handful of situations, and the procedure must always be approved by a judge.

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