Health ministers of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) analyze in Montevideo the spread of diseases transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, including the Zika virus
At the extraordinary meeting participate the States Parties to the Mercosur, comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela and Uruguay, and associates Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Suriname, as well as representatives of Mexico, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.
To the meeting also assist Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and managers of South American Institute of Government in Health, official sources declared.
The agenda includes reports from the PAHO and the World Health Organization (WHO) on health conditions in the region and scientific progress from research on zika. The day will close with a press conference in the afternoon.
The latest reports by the WHO indicate that out of the 55 nations in the region, the disease, which arrived in Brazil in May 2015, is spread in more than 20 countries and territories.
Among them: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guadalupe, Guyana and Haiti, and also Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Suriname and Venezuela.
On Monday, the WHO declared a public health emergency of international level by the quick expansion and severity of cases of microcephaly and neurological disorders detected in countries like Brazil, where in just four months were identified about 4,200 cases.
The world organ estimated that these diseases make the zika virus a threat to the planet’s population, although still it has not been established the direct link between the virus and the cases of microcephaly and malformations.
Zika is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also causes chikungunya and dengue, and it was first identified in 1947 in a region of Uganda called Zika.