Brazil’s Health Minister says they are “losing badly” the fight against mosquitoes linked to the Zika Virus.
Marcelo Castro said 220,000 soldiers will be deployed to help clear breeding grounds and also educate the public on how to do same. The soldiers are expected to be deployed in February but in some areas, the army has been called in to help the health inspectors.
Castro described the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the transmitter of the Zika virus, dengue fever and yellow fever as Brazil’s “number one public enemy”.
Brazil has recorded 3,893 cases of microcephaly, a birth defect linked to the Zika virus since October.Health authorities are worried about the long term effect on the affected babies.
On Tuesday, health authorities fumigated Rio de Janeiro’s Sambadrome stadium ahead of the major carnival festival in 2 weeks.
“We are all afraid of it. It makes our daily life very complicated. The Zika virus spreads very fast, which makes all of us very surprised. We now all avoid going to forest areas when traveling,” Bruna, a Brazilian
Rio’s Environment and Health Security Co-ordinator,Marcus said over 121, 624 areas have been treated throughout the city, mostly carnival and olympic venues. Also with 705,995 places, including slums and other communities considered high-risk areas inspected.
The Zika virus was recently reported in Brazil but the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is not new to Brazilian health authorities. In May 2015, there was an outbreak of dengue fever infecting over 700,000 people.
The Brazilian government has allocated money into research for a vaccine but that is expected between 3 to 5 years.
The World Health Organization on Monday, warned that Zika virus could spread across the Americas. With no vaccine yet, the doctors are advising mothers to avoid getting pregnant.