Obama requested $ 1.8 billion in Congress to fight against Zika

Des employés municipaux distribuent des prospectus pour la prévention contre le virus Zika sur la plage de Copacabana alors que le carnaval vient de débuter.

municipal workers distribute flyers for the prevention against the Zika virus on Copacabana beach as the carnival has just begun Photo credits:. CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP

the concern rises in America, including the United States, on the spread of the virus, although for most patients, the symptoms are mild. In Brazil, the prospect of the Olympic Games in Rio in August also concerned.

Barack Obama will ask the United States Congress to release $ 1.8 billion (approximately 1.6 billion euros) in emergency funds to fight Zika virus in the country and abroad and contribute to the development of a vaccine, announced Monday 8 February the White House.

the virus, transmitted mainly through bites of Aedes mosquito, is spreading rapidly in Latin America. There is no treatment or vaccine. For most of those infected, the virus has only mild effects. But Zika was associated in Brazil to 4000 cases of microcephaly, severe neonatal malformations.

Link to Guillain-Barre syndrome

In Colombia and Venezuela, a link was established with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a nerve disease whose severity varies among patients. Three deaths of people affected by Guillain-Barré syndrome and Zika virus were found in Colombia. A hundred other is under investigation. Normally, Guillain-Barre syndrome rate from Zika is 1 thousand according to the Colombian Ministry of Health. But Colombian health services are still checking on the ground there is no excess mortality. By cons no cases of microcephaly linked to Zika has so far been identified. Over two thousand pregnant women are currently affected by the virus.

In Brazil, by contrast, the number of microcephaly worries. If between 2010 and 2014, it did not exceed 200 a year in mid-December 2015, 2402 cases were detected. The prospect of the Olympics in Rio in August, causes serious concerns, firstly on the possible contamination of the participants and spectators, but also the risk of spread in this way the epidemic in parts of the world hitherto preserved.

Several cases of sexual transmission and blood were found, which completely changes the data that scientists had to predict the spread of the disease.

The Brazilian government rejected Friday any possibility to cancel the Games. Yet sports teams around the world are beginning to worry.

“We will not prevent athletes to represent their country,” the Rio Olympics

Patrick Sanduski, spokesman for the Olympic Committee of the United States.

According to information disseminated by the American press USOC, the US Olympic Committee have advised athletes to reconsider their participation in the Olympic Games. Patrick Sanduski, spokesman of the USOC, denied the reports and assured that “the team of the United States is eager to participate in the Games and we have not, should not and will not prevent athletes represent their country. ”

The bulk of the funds requested by Obama will fund testing and surveillance and response operations in infected areas in the United States. “So qu’approchent spring and summer, bringing with them the populations of more and more active mosquitoes, we must be absolutely prepared to meet local transmissions on our territory, mainly in the southern US” underlines the White House.

the federal agency USAid development aid it would receive an allocation of $ 335 million to help the Latin American countries concerned. Authorities in Puerto Rico, a territory bound to the United States could get their side of $ 250 million.

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