Photographer: Wilfredo Riera/Bloomberg

Fighting the Zika Virus in Latin America

An outbreak of the Zika virus and its potential association with birth defects in South and Central America has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization.

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    The Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to carry the Zika virus and  dengue fever. The WHO has estimated that there could be 3 million to 4 million cases of the virus in Latin America.

    Photographer: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg

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    A boy watches television while a municipal employee working on a Dengue and Zika prevention campaign and two soldiers from the Brazilian Army inspect a house for signs of mosquitoes in Olinda, Brazil. 

    Photographer: Rafael Fabres/Bloomberg

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    Brazilian Army soldiers and a municipal worker inspect a bathroom for signs of mosquitoes in Olinda. Brazil is at the epicenter of the outbreak that has been spreading “explosively.”

    Photographer: Rafael Fabres/Bloomberg

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    Brazil has advised pregnant women against visiting the country during the 2016 Olympic Games.

    Photographer: Rafael Fabres/Bloomberg

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    Workers spray insecticide from the back of a truck in Caracas, Venezuela. There is no vaccine for the virus, which has long been endemic in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa, where many people have immunity. 

    Photographer: Wilfredo Riera/Bloomberg

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    On Feb. 1, 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added American Samoa, Costa Rica, Curacao, and Nicaragua to a travel alert that recommends pregnant women consider postponing visits to those areas.

    Photographer: Wilfredo Riera/Bloomberg

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    A laboratory technician prepares a blood sample while testing for the Zika virus at a public health clinic in the Chacao municipality of Caracas.

    Photographer: Wilfredo Riera/Bloomberg

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    Patients wait to see doctors at the Social Security Institute maternity ward in Guatemala City. 

    Photographer: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg

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    The declaration of a public health emergency has to do with clusters of microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and potential developmental problems, that appears to be associated with the virus. There’s an association, though not a scientifically proven link, between women who become infected while pregnant and the birth defect.

    Photographer: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg

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    Doctor Angela Rocha, right, measures the head of 1-month-old baby Alexandro Julio, while his grandmother, left, and mother, Julie Adriana, watch at at the Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in Recife, Brazil. 

    Photographer: Rafael Fabres/Bloomberg

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    A lab worker exposes his arm to Aedes aegypti mosquitoes during testing in the epidemiology lab at the Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala City. 

    Photographer: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg

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    Larvae from the Aedes aegypti mosquito sit in a bowl of water during testing at the epidemiology lab. 

    Photographer: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg

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    A worker fumigates a home in Caracas. The first locally transmitted case of Zika virus in the continental U.S. was confirmed in Dallas county, Texas, on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. 

    Photographer: Wilfredo Riera/Bloomberg

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    A bus with a Zika virus prevention advertisement sits parked outside the AACD Hospital in Recife, Brazil.

    Photographer: Rafael Fabres/Bloomberg

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    A worker in a hazmat suit fumigates the Sambadrome ahead of Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janiero.

    Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

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    Pharmaceutical companies have started working on treatments against the virus, though a vaccine is still years away.

    Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg