More than 2000 Pregnant Colombian Women Test Positive for Zika Virus
The Zika virus is spreading and it's not wasting any time.
The Colombian National Health Institute announced that there are currently 2,116 recorded Colombian pregnant women who are infected with the Zika virus, as per the Voice of America News. The numbers now puts Colombia in the second most affected country in the Latin Americas after Brazil, according to the same report.
Because of this, the health ministry advised couples through a statement to delay conceiving a child for six to eight months.
The first recorded emergence of the virus was in Brazil last year. Director-General of World Health Organization Dr. Margaret Chan declared caution on Thursday, as told by CBS News, that Zika is "spreading explosively" -- rapidly transforming from a "mild threat" to "one of alarming proportions."
Four million people are foreseen to be infected with the Zika virus by the end of this year, according to the WHO.
In Brazil, 4,000 babies were found to have been born with microcephaly -- the dreadful outcome of a pregnant woman being infected with the virus. The numbers reported by health authorities last week is a starking contrast from the 150 reported infected babies in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Latin Americas are not an isolated case as there are also dozens of Zika cases reported in the United States. According to CBS News, these cases are people who travelled from another country. Furthermore, even though the virus is growing at an alarming rate in other countries, the same report noted that the U.S. do not have much to worry about. Although, citizens must be prepared for locally-transmitted cases within the country.
"We will see mini-outbreaks like in Florida and in Texas that can be well controlled with mosquito vector control," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
However, while he remains optimistic for U.S., Fauci told CBS News that the Zika outbreak is a pandemic. "You have multiple countries in South America and in the Caribbean, so by anybody's definition that would be considered a pandemic," he explained.
The rapid outbreak of the Zika pandemic has created notable government partnerships. The presidents of the United States and Brazil have recently reached a mutual agreement on "the importance of collaborative efforts" to fight the spread of the virus after speaking on Friday.
Both U.S. president Barack Obama and Brazil president Dilma Rouseff have recognized the importance of partnering for the effort in order "to deepen our knowledge, advance research, and accelerate work to develop better vaccines and other technologies to control the virus."