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Brazil strengthens healthcare to tackle microcephaly


Brazil, the country hardest hit by the Zika virus, has recorded over 700 cases of microcephaly since October.

The country is now investigating over 4,000 cases of microcephaly which led to babies being born with small heads and undeveloped brains.

In light of this, the city at the center of the Zika epidemic, Pernambuco, is developing efficient healthcare services for such patients.

‘‘When facing such an epidemic we must ensure all residents in Pernambuco have the ability to cope with mosquitoes, are able to effectively clear mosquito breeding grounds and treat the Zika-affected patients and their families kindly,” said Paulo Camara, Pernambuco governor.

Results published by the country’s health minister in January revealed that a third of the cases of microcephaly recorded since the start of 2015 were from Pernambuco.

“From now on, the state government will provide all necessary assistance for microcephaly babies, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and equipment to help monitor brain disease,” Camara said.

Much remains unknown about the virus and whether it is the main factor behind microcephaly. Nevertheless, US researchers recently said the virus infects and damages developing brain cells.

Meanwhile, health experts have warned the mosquito borne virus is just one of a growing number of diseases that could lead to a humanitarian crisis.

The virus has spread in over 30 states in Latin America and the Caribbean. The World Health Organisation recently declared the virus a global emergency and anticipates it will affect as many as 4 million people.

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