Monday 18 January 2021

Zika Virus: Colombia Confirms Three Deaths

Colombian women listen as a health worker distributes information how to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Bogota on Sunday. Photograph: John Vizcaino/Reuters
Colombian women listen as a health worker distributes information how to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Bogota on Sunday. Photograph: John Vizcaino/Reuters

TODAY COLOMBIA – Colombia has confirmed the first three deaths of patients infected with the Zika virus who had contracted a seemingly related disease that attacks the nervous system and causes paralysis.

Alejandro Gaviria, the health minister, told the Guardian that another two deaths caused by the disease – known as Guillain-Barré syndrome – were still unconfirmed to be Zika-related.

- Advertisement -

Health officials in the country’s second city, Medellín, reported on Thursday that a man and a woman admitted from other areas died in the past week after presenting symptoms of Guillain-Barré, which include muscle weakness and paralysis. Another man died in late November. All three tested positive for the Zika virus.

Gaviria said Colombia has registered about 100 cases of GBS that are believed to be related to the Zika virus. Overall, Colombia has recorded more than 20,500 confirmed cases of Zika infection.

Guillain-Barré-related deaths are rare but Gaviria warned that recent cases of the disorder seen in Colombia have not responded to traditional treatments of immunoglobulin.

“Mortality is high,” Gaviria said in a phone interview a day after meeting with health ministers from around Latin America in Montevideo to address the crisis caused by the spread of Zika.

- Advertisement -

Zika virus by itself causes mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all, but earlier this week the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency because of suspected links to a birth defect known as microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads.
Advertisement

Reported microcepahly cases spiked in Brazil which has the world’s highest number of people infected with Zika.

But Gaviria said that in Colombia, which has the second highest Zika patients, no cases of related microcephaly have been reported. “It’s sort of a mystery,” he said adding that either Colombia will start seeing microcephaly cases soon, or there are factors in Brazil that predispose patients to it that do not exist in Colombia.

The science journal Nature reported that researchers of birth defects in Latin America were questioning the real size of the apparent surge in the number of microcephaly in Brazilian children.

But Jorge Lopez-Camelo and Ieda Maria Orioli, from the Latin American Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations (ECLAMC), suggested that the baseline may have been underestimated and that heightened awareness of the birth defect, because of the possible link with Zika, may have led to an increase in reported cases.

“We are only now beginning to understand the dimensions of Zika,” Gaviria said.

- Advertisement -

Colombia has said that if microcephaly is detected in foetuses, women can opt to abort. Under Colombian law, abortion is legal for women whose foetuses show a malformation that makes life unviable, if the pregnancy was a result of rape, or if the woman’s health is in danger.

Gaviria has argued that includes women’s mental health, which could be cited in the case of giving birth to a child with microcephaly.

Read more Colombia news at TodayColombia.com

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Ricohttp://www.theqmedia.com
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Colombia: Dog steals food from the supermarket and even disinfects its paws when leaving

QCOSTARICA - A security camera at a D1 supermarket in Medellin,...

Costa Rica will continue to allow flights from the United Kingdom without the need for a covid-19 test

QCOSTARICA - While several countries in Latin America are banning the...

MOST READ

24,859 doses applied against covid-19 in three weeks of vaccination; second dose begins

QCOSTARICA - The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) reports it has applied 24,859 doses during the first three weeks of vaccination against covid-19...

Invading the US Capitol among the top stormings of government buildings through the ages

Q REPORTS - From the Bastille to the Capitol, storming government buildings through the ages. 2021: Invading the US Capitol After demonstrators gathered in Washington D.C....

Yes, you can survive Covid, but I wouldn’t wish it on my best enemy

RICO'S DIGEST - It's been almost a year since the first case was reported last March, we've been battling covid-19 in Costa Rica. And...

Tourist arrivals to Costa Rica fell 68% last year compared to 2019

QCOSTARICA - Arrivals of foreign tourists to Costa Rica by all routes fell 67.7% last year, compared to 2019 figures, although that third is...

Guatemala uses tear gas and sticks to stop migrant caravan

Q24N - With a new administration in sight and the possible relaxation of immigration policies, thousands of migrants from Central America have decided to...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.