Bolivia Announces 2-Year Plan to Combat Zika Virus


The South American country has registered only four cases of the mosquito-borne virus but isn't taking any chances.

The Bolivian government has launched a two-year strategic plan for the prevention and control of the mosquito-borne viruses Zika, dengue and chikungunya.

The Health Ministry revealed Thursday that the cabinet approved a series of prevention and treatment programs against the three infections, with the finer details to be revealed Friday.

"The national government approved the Supreme Decree N 2670 for use in areas where there is a risk transmission of Zika, dengue and chikungunya and the presence of Aedes aegypti," said the Health Ministry Thursday.

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Bolivia has only registered one native case of the Zika virus but four Bolivians caught the virus while in Brazil, where the fever originated.

The spread of chikungunya is a more pressing concern for Bolivian health officials as there have been over 10,000 reported cases of the infection there. A further 2,375 people have caught dengue in the country.

All three viruses are spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Health Minister Ariana Campero said Zika cases were under control, although she warned that those living in tropical areas should still be wary.

"We can not allow pregnant women where there is a breeding ground for mosquitos," she said at a press conference this week.

Campero's warning to pregnant women comes amid fears that microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads, is linked to the Zika virus in pregnant women.

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Approximately 3,400 babies have been born with microcephaly in Brazil.

Health officials in Colombia have recorded more than 20,000 cases of the Zika virus, making it the second worst affected country after Brazil. However, the numbers are only estimates. Many people affected with Zika show no symptoms.

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