Honduras Declares National Emergency For Rising Zika Virus Cases
Health officials in Honduras have just declared a nationwide state of emergency after a massive upsurge of Zika infections are clearly endangering public health. The announcement followed an earlier declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) calling Zika outbreak an 'international emergency'.
Since the outbreak started 16 December last year, 3, 649 people were reportedly confirmed to have contracted the mosquito-borne illness according to health authorities.
"The number of people affected is rising each day in an alarming way," remarked Health Minister Yolani Batres as quoted by Yahoo News.
There is also an unconfirmed death of an elderly individual due to Zika infection but authorities are still looking into the case.
As the entire nation grows increasingly worried over the sudden increase of Zika cases, Minister World Health Organization Pronounces Zika Virus As International Emergency Batres is admonishing Hondurans to clean up their surroundings to disrupt the breeding grounds of Aedes aegypti mosquito- the known carrier of the virus along with dengue and malaria.
In an attempt to avert further outbreak, President Juan Orlando Hernandez has just authorized the release of $10 million.
In addition, the government has also revived the National Risk Management System to oversee all related efforts to combat Zika according to a report by The New York Times. Citizens including public sector workers, parents, and students have been mobilized to help in the eradication of mosquito breeding sites.
In a separate but related news, the Brazilian government maintained that the Rio Olympics will continue as planned despite an alarming surge of Zika cases across South America's largest country.
Health officials argue that the summer games will pose no health risk to athletes and spectators but strongly warned pregnant women against traveling to Brazil at this time of the year.
"The risk, which I would say is serious, is for pregnant women. It is clearly not advisable for you (to travel to the Games) because you don't want to take that risk," advised Presidential Chief of Staff Jaques Wagner as mentioned in a report by the International Business Times.