Colombia says Zika epi­demic over

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD -

Au­thor­i­ties in Colombia have de­clared an end to the Zika epi­demic in the South Amer­i­can na­tion, the sec­ond-hard­est hit in the re­gion from the mos­quito-borne virus. The Health Min­istry said Monday the num­ber of cases of the virus have been fall­ing steadily to as few as 600 per week com­pared to more than 10 times that amount at the out­break’s peak in Fe­bru­ary. Since Zika ar­rived in Colombia in Septem­ber of 2015, there have been al­most 100,000 cases re­ported, al­though lab­o­ra­tory tests have con­firmed only around 9,000. Au­thor­i­ties said that the virus will not dis­ap­pear com­pletely. So far this year, 150 chil­dren have been born with Zika-linked birth de­fects. Au­thor­i­ties warn 17,730 preg­nant women have di­ag­nosed with Zika.

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