The infant mortality rate in Brazil, which consistently went down since 1990, started going up in 2016. It is believed that the rate for 2017 will also be higher than the 2015 rate. Both the Zika epidemic and the country's economic recession have been highlighted by the Ministry of Health as causes for the rising infant mortality rate.
After its success in controlling a devastating fruit fly with nuclear technology, Argentina is gearing up to fight a new enemy: mosquitoes that transmit Zika, in addition to dengue and chikungunya. The method applied in both cases is the sterile insect technique, SIT, an insect birth control method that uses irradiation to sterilize and release insects to suppress pest populations.
Texas health officials have announced Monday their first case of Zika virus, making it the second US state to report such an occurrence after Florida. The victim is a woman who is not pregnant and has not traveled anywhere a Zika affected area in recent times, it was announced.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio said the company’s “lofty” expectations for the Caribbean this summer have not been met, one factor in revising expectations downward for the rest of the year. In a conference call to discuss second-quarter results this week, Norwegian lowered its guidance for second-half earnings and said it will not make its previously forecast goal of earning US$5 a share in 2017.
Australian athletes at this summer’s Rio Olympics will be supplied with condoms which offer “near complete” protection against the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) announced. However, the virus has been linked to a birth defect that causes babies to be born with unusually small heads.
Governments have been using various tools to fight the spread of the Zika virus in Latin America: fumigation, spraying of insecticides and even a plan to distribute mosquito repellents to athletes during the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Pope Francis suggested that using artificial contraception may be morally acceptable in fighting the Zika virus. But the Argentine pontiff, speaking to reporters as he flew back to Rome from an exhausting visit to Mexico, categorically ruled out abortion as a response to Zika, comparing the practice to a “Mafia” killing.
More than 200,000 troops fanned out across Brazil over the weekend to raise awareness about the mosquito that spreads the Zika virus, which has been linked to a surge in birth defects.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said that the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro would take place despite the Zika virus, at a time when various athletes have expressed their fears about competing.
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has said he will ask President Obama to help implement a peace accord that his government expects to sign with the Farc rebel group next month. The two presidents will meet at the White House on Thursday.