As the Zika Virus continues to spread in Latin America, Colombia is battling to eradicate it.
According to statistics from the country’s national health institute, 20,297 people have tested positive to the mosquito-transmitted virus.
In one of the hardest hit cities eastern border with Venezuela, they are fighting back. Cucuta city, launched an educational and fumigation campaign.
We have reports of 2,116 pregnant women of which 176 have already been confirmed by laboratory tests.
“We use the cleaning companies to explain to them (residents) what urban cleaning is about and what we are doing as we go around every home to sensitize people that they can’t leave containers full of water in the open else it gets contaminated in just two days,” the mayor of Cucuta, Cesar Rojas Ayala, said.
Meanwhile, reports indicate that women are the most affected in Colombia accounting for 63.6 per cent of the cases. Moreover, more than 2,100 pregnant women have been affected with the virus.
“We have reports of 2,116 pregnant women of which 176 have already been confirmed by laboratory tests. That means the figures are going up,” Diego Alejandro Garcia, the national health institute’s deputy director of transmissible diseases said.
Health officials suspect Zika is linked to a wave of birth defects in Brazil, the country hardest hit by the virus. Reports further say that there is a link between the virus and microcephaly which leads to babies being born with small heads with undeveloped brains.
Last week, the World Health Organisation warned that the virus could affect as many as 4 million people this year.