Brazil Declares Emergency After 2400 Babies Born With Virus From Mosquitos
The Brazilian government has recently declared a nationwide state of emergency amid an alarming surge in the number of infants born with brain damages linked to a mosquito-borne virus. The situation even led public health authorities in the South American nation to issue a rather unusual and stern health advice to women not to avoid pregnancy.
The ministry of health reported that various health agencies are doing strenuous investigative research work on more than 2, 400 cases of microcephaly which eventually resulted to 29 infant deaths this year. Apparently a surge has occurred considering that only 147 cases of microcephaly were documented in 2014 according to Washington Post.
The outbreak was blamed on a mosquito-linked virus called Zika which was responsible for neurological disorder in babies often resulting to incomplete brain. This led couples and families across Brazil to postpone plans to get pregnant.
"It's a very personal decision, but at this moment of uncertainty, if families can put off their pregnancy plans, that's what we're recommending," told Angela Rocha, of Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in Brazil's hardest-hit state as quoted saying by CNN.
The Zika virus is known to be carried by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the same species responsible for transmitting other deadly viruses such as dengue and chikungunya that may cause symptoms such as rashes, a sudden rise in temperature, joint pains and an impaired immune system.
The unprecedented cases of microcephaly in Brazil forced the government to mobilize resources for public awareness campaigns, larvicide, and large-scale deployment of community health workers to contain the situation as mentioned by DNA.