What’s the latest on the Zika outbreak in Latin America?
By Alex Karpeles, ContributorThe Zika outbreak is spreading quickly and has caused a severe humanitarian crisis in several Latin American countries.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of March 11, there were more than 5,000 confirmed cases of Zika, and another 7,000 cases of microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to have abnormally small heads.
While these figures are extremely alarming, there is a long way to go before the disease reaches the most vulnerable populations.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country with the highest number of cases of the virus is Puerto Rico, where more than 1,600 people have contracted the virus.
In Colombia, the country has reported more than 2,500 confirmed cases.
And in Brazil, there are more than 3,000 reported cases.
The situation in Colombia has also led to a rise in deaths from the disease.
The CDC reported on Thursday that Colombia had the second highest death toll from the Zika virus, with 7,879 deaths in April, the third highest figure in Latin American history, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
And a new report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the number of people in the country who are considered to be at risk for Zika infection is now at more than 100,000.
Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean countries, there has been a rapid increase in cases of congenital birth defects.
The most serious birth defect is microcerebral palsy, which can cause the brain to fail and cause paralysis.
The country is currently experiencing an epidemic of cases in children born with microcerelas.
In the U, the number one cause of microcephalus, which is a birth defect, is a parasite that infects the brain.
And cases of cerebral palsy have increased in the U to levels not seen since the mid-1990s.
The WHO reported in December that there were nearly 11,000 new cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome in Brazil in 2016, up from 3,200 cases in 2015.
In Venezuela, the latest statistics show there were 3,828 cases in 2016.
According the International Institute for Tropical Medicine and Public Health (IITMHP), more than 400 million people have suffered from Guillaint-Barré syndrome.
And a recent report by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch found that the majority of the cases are occurring in poor and rural communities.