Zika Virus Update: Brazil Deploys Soldiers to Alert People


Hundreds of thousands of soldiers have been deployed following a Zika prevention drive, to alert people about the virus on Saturday. Brazilian officials and around 2,20,00 armed personnel knocked the doors of millions of homes in 350 locations. They disseminated information about taking precautions and how to avoid infection.

The mega operation was carried out to kill breeding mosquitoes.  As the country is preparing for the upcoming Olympic Games, the effort was to ensure the health security of sportsmen and fans traveling to the country.

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The rapid influx of Zika Virus has already filled up to the brim. Brazil is the worst affected country witnessing the most number of “microcephaly” cases, which causes birth anomalies in newly-borns.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared worldwide health emergency. It said the virus was suspected to be linked with the rare neurological disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). It attacks the nervous system and causes gradual weakness in the whole body. It sometimes leads to complete paralysis as well. It has not confirmed any link between Zika and microcephaly.

Brazilian health authorities said that they were absolutely sure of the link between Zika and microcephaly. But scientifically it is yet to be confirmed.

“We are absolutely sure of the causal relationship between microcephaly and Zika. It has nothing to do with the environment, nothing to do with race, nothing to do with gender,” The Guardian quoted Health Minister Marelo Castro as saying.

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According to official figures, Brazil has recorded more than 5,000 cases since October,2015, compared to 150 in 2014. There are 462 confirmed cases of Zika. Many cases are centred in north-east Brazil. But the Zika has encapsulated more than 20 American countries.

On Saturday, Colombia confirmed that 5,013 pregnant women out of 31,555 recorded cases, were affected, according to the BBC.

Health experts and authorities have advised women to avoid traveling to South American countries.

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