Zika virus affects over 25,000 in Colombia, Australia registers people with infection

Electron micrograph of Zika virus. Virus particles with an outer envelope and a dense inner core (source: CDC).

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday said upon his request, American team of doctors and scientists will soon arrive in Colombia to help fight and control the spread of Zika virus in his country.

Santos in ameeting with health officials in Colombian capital of Bogota, said that the number of people infected by Zika virus had reached 25,646, including 3,177 pregnant women.

Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria also stated at Saturday’s meeting that there would be 600,000 and 700,000 people to be affected by the Zika virus in Colombia this year.

During a meeting in Washington D. C. Thursday, Santos briefed President Obama about the situation of the mosquito-borne epidemic in his country and requested help.

Meanwhile, Australia will step up testing of the mosquito-borne virus in Queensland as new cases of the infection were registered, Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick said Saturday.

Earlier this week, first cases of the Zika virus in Australia were confirmed in Sydney, New South Wales. Two other people tested positive in Queensland earlier on Saturday.

According to him, Queensland is expecting more cases of Zika, as the northern part of state is inhabited by Aedes mosquitoes which can transmit the disease.

The intensified testing of residents for the Zika virus is set to be launched on March 1.

The current Zika outbreak started in Brazil in the spring of 2015. It has since spread across Latin America, with cases having been reported in several European countries and the United States.

Zika does not cause serious complications in adults, but it is suspected of leading to severe brain defects in newborns. (With reports from Sputnik and Xinhua)

Below is an informative video about the Zika virus. Don’t forget to watch!


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