Brazil grapples with the rapid spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, as the number of new-borns with brain defects soars. Katie Sargent reports
Brazil battles alarming Zika virus spread
These are the front-line fighters in Brazil’s battle against the rapid spread of the Zika virus.
They’re fumigating a slum where several cases of the virus have been reported.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus linked to an alarming surge in infants borne with serious brain deformation.
Gleyse Kelly’s daughter Maria Geovana is one of them.
She was diagnosed with microencephaly after her mother was infected with Zika while pregnant.
Some four-thousand suspected cases of microencephaly have been reported in Brazil since October, compared to 150 cases in all of 2014.
In addition to fumigating, health officials have launched a campaign to educate people on how to prevent mosquito breeding in their homes,
(SOUNDBITE) (English) RECIFE’S HEALTH SECRETARY JAILSON DE BARROS CORREIA, SAYING:
“Technically we say that the pathogenicity of the virus in the brain tissues may be the irrefutable proof (of the connection between Zika and microcephaly), but all evidence is showing that connection. And of course, the public health’s response to that must be very strongly oriented towards controlling the mosquito.”
Zika is transmitted by the same mosquito that transmits diseases like dengue and chikangunya.
There is no vaccine or treatment for it.
Brazil is trying to get the epidemic under control before the country hosts the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.