Zika virus: Latin America’s ills compound crisis

Samantha Pearson –  Folha de Sao Paulo, 02/01/2016

Isla de León, a slum on the outskirts of Cartagena on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, is a lesson in how to manufacture and transmit the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Ramshackle hovels with dirt floors, crooked wooden walls and zinc roofs line sun-baked unpaved streets. In the rainy season, conditions resemble the swamp on which the neighbourhood was built.

“Of course the mosquitoes are a problem, especially at night,” says Ingrid Tordecillos, 24, pointing at the pools of green water that flank her house, where flies skate across the surfaces.

She has already suffered from three attacks of Zika and two of her three children have fallen ill from the virus, which has been linked to devastating birth defects and neurological problems in adults.

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