Full Video Del Taxi Cucuta Twitter 2022 – C UCUTA, Colombia – Here, Windy Gelvez Mandón sat in the tiled waiting room of a hospital maternity ward, passing the time with jokes. The other pregnant patients slumped in their seats and belly up, but Mandón sat up straight as doctors in white, green and navy coats pulsed in the grand piano.
However, her body language quickly changed when the conversation turned to the latest mosquito-borne threat in the area, the Zika virus.
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Mandón, 21, took a taxi from her home an hour outside of Cúcuta to E.S.E. taken. Hospital Universitario Erasmo Meoz because she had headaches and joint pain, symptoms of the virus. She came not out of concern for her own health, but because she feared what the virus might do to her unborn child. Her smile faded and her dark eyes lost their sparkle as she talked about Zika.
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Global health officials say evidence is mounting that the Zika outbreak in Brazil is responsible for an increase in the number of babies born there with unusually small heads, a condition known as microcephaly. The Zika virus has spread through most of Latin America.
But so far in this current outbreak, no case of microcephaly has been linked to Zika infection contracted anywhere other than Brazil. (A Zika outbreak may have caused a spike in microcephaly cases in French Polynesia in 2013 and 2014.)
The absence of microcephaly outside of Brazil may indicate that scientists were wrong; perhaps the virus is not causing the birth defect at all. Or maybe there are unknown factors specific to Brazil.
Some infectious disease experts believe that cases of birth defects could soon appear in Zika’s way of spreading. And aside from Brazil, no country has had as many cases of Zika as Colombia.
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“Maybe Zika just wasn’t in Colombia long enough at the time,” said Matthew Aliota, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine who helped discover Zika in Colombia.
Doctor Thomas Frieden, director of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reiterated this point: “We are not surprised that we do not see cases of microcephaly in other countries because of the delay between infection and birth,” he said on Friday.
Colombian health officials have identified more than 20,000 cases of Zika, a number that experts say likely underestimated the true number because it only counted people who had gone to the doctor. Among these patients, more than 2,100 are pregnant women.
Health officials estimate Colombia could experience 400 to 600 cases of microcephaly during the outbreak, which is expected to last through August.
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The concern is so great that the national health ministry has urged women to postpone pregnancies. This is a challenge in a country where access to sex education and contraception is patchy at best, and where abortion is banned in most cases.
Health officials are also studying whether Zika can cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological condition that causes progressive – and usually temporary – paralysis but can lead to death. Colombia typically records 240 cases of GBS each year, but recorded 86 in just five weeks in December and January, according to the World Health Organization.
On Friday, Colombian health officials said three people with Zika-related GBS had died. They were awaiting test results from six other GBS deaths that may have been due to Zika.
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Here in Cúcuta, a city of more than 600,000 near the Venezuelan border, residents grew concerned when the number of Zika cases began to rise in December. Cúcuta is the largest city in the state of Norte de Santander, which has recorded more Zika cases than any other city in Colombia.
“What we’ve seen is that the speed [of transmission] in Colombia is very fast right now,” Fernando Ruiz, Colombia’s deputy health minister, told STAT. “The disease has almost disappeared.”
As residents learned, Zika is not a serious health threat in most cases. An estimated 80% of people who get Zika have no symptoms, and most of them have fever, joint pain for only a few days, headache, rash. or conjunctivitis. Previous outbreaks of chikungunya and dengue — which, like Zika, are carried by Aedes mosquitoes — made people sicker, local residents said.
It was only after talking about Zika for several minutes that local priest Ruber Carrero López mentioned having contracted it himself and shrugged as if an American was dismissing the cold of the last month.
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A nurse talking about a pregnant woman diagnosed with Zika signed herself. In the hospital’s maternity ward, some women lowered their voices when Zika appeared.
“It’s spreading so fast here,” said Dr. Nadia Karina Arana, an epidemiologist at IPS Unipamplena, a clinic affiliated with a local medical school.
However, Arana added that more research needs to be done to find out what complications Zika can actually cause. Perhaps cases of microcephaly will arrive in Cúcuta, she said, but none have arrived yet.
One mother-to-be who wasn’t worried was Paola Andrea Escalante, who was the only pregnant woman admitted to Erasmo-Meoz Hospital with Zika on Thursday.
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Seventeen years old and eight months pregnant, Escalante explained while eating a lunch of soup, chicken, cabbage and rice that she had barely heard of Zika before this week. She had been hospitalized earlier in the week after a red rash spread all over her body, staining her hands and stomach. Doctors told her she had Zika. But they also told her that their baby boy looked healthy.
Escalante – dressed in a white dress with red anchors flecked with a heart on each – shared the hospital room with three other pregnant women, but only her bed had a mosquito net. This was not so much to protect her as to prevent a mosquito from biting her and spreading Zika to other patients, hospital officials said. She spent the whole day under the net, taking a short break to enjoy her lunch.
Federal and local health officials here have tried to show they take the virus seriously after some residents and doctors said they were slow to respond in the early months of the outbreak.
A dozen officials from area hospitals and clinics that care for poor patients gathered Friday in Cúcuta to discuss their prevention and surveillance efforts. When cases of microcephaly crop up in the city, they make sure patients have access to specialists.
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And this week in Washington, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and President Barack Obama announced that the two countries would collaborate on Zika research.
Despite the heightened response, officials here don’t want to sound the alarm, they say, so they raise microcephaly as a possibility — an if, not a when.
In fact, scientists have not shown a causal link between the virus and the birth defect. And hundreds of cases originally reported as Zika-associated microcephaly in Brazil have turned out to be unrelated to Zika – or are not true cases of microcephaly.
But WHO and CDC officials say they strongly suspect the virus can cause microcephaly in a developing fetus. Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC’s division of vector-borne diseases, told STAT this week that the evidence is “pretty strong at this point.”
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Back at the maternity ward of the hospital, Shirley Dayana Rivera had her blood pressure taken. Rivera, 17, was hospitalized Thursday because it was her due date, but she hasn’t given birth yet.
In December, Rivera developed a fever and headache, and an itchy rash broke out on his stomach. She was diagnosed with Zika and recovered. She said doctors told her their baby girl, whom she planned to name Sara, did not appear to be affected.
So her concern this week wasn’t specifically about the virus, just the fear that comes with impending motherhood.
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