360° Analysis

Zika Spreads Through the Americas


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February 04, 2016 23:58 EDT

Brazil declares a state of emergency to stem the spread of the Zika virus.

Since October 2015, nearly 4,000 babies in Brazil have been born with microcephaly, an incurable disease that causes brain damage and is suspected—but not proved—to be linked to the Zika virus.

The disease is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda, where it was first isolated in 1947. Usually innocuous, it causes very mild symptoms similar to a cold in adults. This latest outbreak that has affected mostly Latin America has reported cases of microcephaly among infants.

An estimated 1.5 million Brazilians have been infected with the mosquito-borne disease, which has spread to at least 24 countries. The first case of Zika in the US has just been reported in Texas and is said to have been sexually transmitted. Some governments have issued controversial calls on women to delay planned pregnancies for at least two years.

Channel 4 News travels to Recife, the epicenter of the epidemic, where a state of emergency has been declared.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock.com

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