In Hardest-Hit Latin American Countries, Zika Cases Beginning To Decline
Experts warn that the trend is limited to certain countries and does not mean the epidemic is starting to subside everywhere it has struck. In other news, the World Health Organization officially links the virus and microcephaly, and health officials are meeting at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters to map out a strategy to deal with Zika's spread in Puerto Rico.
The Washington Post:
Spread Of Zika Virus Appears To Be Slowing In Parts Of Latin America
In several Latin American nations hit hard by the Zika epidemic, the transmission of the virus appears to have peaked, with the number of infections declining in recent weeks, according to governments in the region and the latest World Health Organization data. The slowdown has prompted some countries, including Colombia, to significantly scale back their projections of the impact of the virus. (Miroff, 3/31)
Zika Is Linked To Microcephaly, Health Agencies Confirm
The World Health Organization says there is now scientific consensus that the Zika virus is connected with microcephaly — a condition in which babies are born with very small heads and brain damage. Scientists have been working for months to confirm a link between Zika and microcephaly, ever since Brazil reported a startling increase in cases last fall. Zika infection during pregnancy appears to increase the risk for several types of birth defects and miscarriages, a recent study found. And scientists have found the virus in the brains of affected babies. (Doucleff, 3/31)
In War On Zika Mosquitoes, Puerto Rico Starting At 'Square One'
The United States faces its first real challenge with the Zika virus on the island territory of Puerto Rico, a part of the nation that is perhaps least prepared to cope with what is expected to be its worst outbreak. Zika is spreading rapidly in Puerto Rico and is expected to peak in late summer and early fall. By year's end, public health officials estimate, hundreds of thousands of people will have been infected. (Steenhuysen, 4/1)