Puerto Rico Claims That The Zika Epidemic Has Passed Them By
There have been many dubious claims made about the toll that the Zika virus is taking is some countries. A while back, Puerto Rican medical officials came under fire for not reporting the full extent of Zika’s devastation in the territory of Puerto Rico. And recently, government officials from India admitted that they withheld their Zika victims from the media, and instead claimed that no Indian citizen had contracted the virus. Most recently, Puerto Rican health officials have claimed that the Zika virus is no longer a
matter of concern on the island, and many find this claim doubtful.
Since April, only ten cases of the Zika virus have been reported in Puerto Rico, which is a great improvement from last year’s number of eight thousand. However, health experts are insisting that a decline in Zika cases is not necessarily evidence that the Zika virus is no longer a threat to the public. The CDC travel advisory for Puerto Rico remains unchanged.
According to Dr. Anna Durbin, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, having less cases of Zika being reported is not sufficient to declare the battle against Zika over. As long as transmission is still occurring, then a risk to the greater population still remains.
Zika still remains a constant concern for pregnant women since contracting the disease can cause severe birth defects known as microcephaly. According to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the year of 2017 will see the births of many babies that have been afflicted with microcephaly, and these children must receive the best medical care possible.
There also still exists controversy about Puerto Rico’s past problem with underreporting Zika cases. Puerto Rican government officials are now working closely with the CDC to update their reporting system.
Do you think that the Zika virus is largely a disease of the past at this point?