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Peru declares Zika emergency in 11 states

Jul 14, 2016 15:02 IST

ZikaThe Peru Government on 13 July 2016 declared Zika health emergency across the northern half of the country.

The emergency was declared after 102 people have been confirmed to be infected with the virus, 34 of which are pregnant women.

The government’s declaration of 90-day emergency facilitates the allocation of almost 6 million US dollar to combat the spread of the virus.

The states under emergency include Amazonas, Cajamarca, Huanuco, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Loreto, Piura, San Martin, Tumbes, Ucayali and Lima.

About Zika virus

Zika virus is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus.

It is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes.

Its name comes from the Uganda’s Zika Forest, where the virus was first isolated in 1947.

From 2007 to 2016, the virus spread across the Pacific Ocean to the Americas where the 2015–16 Zika virus epidemic reached pandemic levels.

The infection often causes no or only mild symptoms, similar to a very mild form of dengue fever.

As of 2016, the illness cannot be prevented by medications or vaccines.

Zika can also spread from a pregnant woman to her foetus. This can result in microcephaly, severe brain malformations, and other birth defects.

On 1 February 2016, World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

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