Zika Virus Update: Colombia Is The Second Worst Affected Nation After Brazil.

#WeGotYourBack #WeGotItCovered #WorldNews #BreakingNews #SouthAmerica #Colombia #Cartagena #PollutedStagnantWater #ZikaVirusUpdate

Sky News visits the city of Cartagena, where thousands are living in slum towns right next to polluted stagnant water.

Thomas Moore

On a so-called day of action against the Zika virus in South America, the Colombian health authorities say over 5,000 women in the country have contracted the virus.

Colombia is the second worst affected nation after Brazil.

The national institute for health in Colombia also said on Saturday a total of 31,555 people have been infected with the disease.

In the La Maria district of Cartagena in northern Colombia we have seen why the authorities have such an uphill battle.

Thousands of people are living in slum towns right next to polluted stagnant water.

They have no mosquito repellents and do not wear the long sleeved clothes and trousers recommended to travellers.

It is currently the dry season but all around lie invisible mosquito eggs, laid the last time it rained.

When the rains return in a few weeks those eggs will hatch within hours, leading to an explosion in mosquito numbers and a major problem for the authorities.

The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito and is being linked to cases of microcephaly in babies as well as to neurological conditions such as Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS).

Microcephaly leaves infants with unusually small heads and can result in brain damage and numerous developmental and health problems.

GBS symptoms include muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. In the most serious cases, the muscle weakness can affect breathing and patients may need a breathing tube.

In Brazil, thousands of armed forces took to the streets to combat the spread of the disease.

Members of the army and navy handed out leaflets and warned people about the dangers of leavening tubs of stagnant water in their homes – the perfect breeding ground for the mosquitos.

A man fumigates against mosquitos amid the Zika outbreak

President Dilma Rouseff herself led the campaign, going door to door in a working class neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro.

She said that while the government can play its part, there will be no success unless the people take precautions

“For our children to be healthy, the Zika mosquito cannot be born,” she said.

Authorities in Peru and Venezuela are also stepping up the fight, fumigating mosquitos and killing their lavae.

 

For more updates on the the Zika Virus: Like, comment and follow:

Micstages UK

On-line magazine/ website  bringing you the hottest headlines, as they drop.  We cover: Politics, Current Affairs, Movies, Music, Reviews, Health, Sports, Fashion and Current Affairs

Facebook: Micstages UK  Twitter: @MicstagesUK  Gmail: MicstagesUK

***WE GOT YOUR BACK***

Zika Virus Update: UN high commissioner for human rights “Latin American countries hit by Zika Virus to allow women access to abortion”

#WeGotYourBack #WeGotItCovered #Health #ZikaVirusUpdate #Abortion #BirthControl #LatinAmerica #Brazil #ElSalvador

Strict curbs on contraception and abortion are common in hard-hit nations but UN says women should have choice about degree of risk they’re willing to take.

Women have been protesting anti-abortion laws in El Salvador, which has one of the highest rates of Zika infection – and where even miscarriages can be treated as murder.

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights has called on Latin American countries hit by the Zika epidemic to allow women access to abortion and birth control, reigniting debate about reproductive rights in the predominantly Catholic region.

The rapidly spreading virus is suspected to have caused an uptick in foetal brain defects. Although this is not yet scientifically proven, many campaigners say women should have a choice about the degree of risk they are willing to take.

This is currently very limited in Latin America due to strict controls on birth control and abortion, which range widely from country to country. On one extreme is El Salvador – which has one of the highest rates of Zika infection in the continent – where even miscarriages can be treated as murder. On the other is Uruguay, where pregnancies can be terminated in any circumstances up to 12 weeks.

The UN commissioner is asking governments in Zika-affected areas to repeal policies that break with international standards on access to sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion.

“We are asking those governments to go back and change those laws,” said spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly on Friday. “Because how can they ask those women to become pregnant but also not offer them first information that is available, but the possibility to stop their pregnancies if they wish?”

The commissioner’s initiative was welcomed by the US-based NGO the Center for Reproductive Rights.

“Women cannot solely bear the burden of curbing the Zika virus,” said Charles Abbott, the group’s legal adviser for Latin America & the Caribbean. “We agree with the OHCHR that these governments must fulfil their international human rights obligations and cannot shirk that responsibility or pass it off to women. This includes adopting laws and policies to respect and protect women’s reproductive rights.”

This is not the only area of contention sparked by the rapid spread of the virus. Scientists in Brazil are also in disagreement about the significance of new studies – revealed on Friday – that show Zika is present in saliva, which some say should prompt warnings against kissing.

The Fiocruz research institute in Rio de Janeiro said on Friday it had identified live samples of Zika in saliva and urine, which merited further research into whether these two fluids could be a source of contagion.

Until the outcome is known, Paulo Gadelha, president of the institute, suggested pregnant women should think twice about kissing anyone other than their partners or sharing drinking glasses or cutlery with people who might be infected.

Although he said this was “not a generalized public health measure”, the proposed precaution has been met with a mixture of fear and derision. Other scientists argue that it is extremely unlikely for the disease to spread in this way.

“The warning is crazy and unnecessary,” said Rubio Soares Campos, who co-identified the first case of Zika in Brazil. “Just because the virus is present in saliva does not mean it can be transmitted that way.”

He argued that it was more likely to behave like dengue, another mosquito-borne disease that is found in human bodily fluids but cannot be spread that way.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/05/zika-virus-epidemic-abortion-birth-control-access-latin-america-united-nations

 

Like, comment and follow:

MicstagesUK

On-line magazine/ website  bringing you the hottest headlines, as they drop.  We cover: Politics, Current Affairs, Movies, Music, Reviews, Health, Sports, Fashion and Current Affairs

Facebook: Micstages UK  Twitter: @MicstagesUK  Gmail: MicstagesUK

***WE GOT YOUR BACK***