The country of Brazil is seen around the world as one of the most economically and culturally important in South America; the nation has recently seen a strain placed on its medical system by the mosquito borne Zika virus on the continent. Despite not being well known around the world the growth of the virus poses a major problem for pregnant women who may find themselves and their unborn children affected by the virus without even knowing. Former Rio de Janeiro State Health Secretary Dr. Sergio Cortes of sergiocortesofficial has weighed in with some assistance for those who are worried they may be affected by the disease.
One Brazilian mother, Marilia Lima, has been discussing how the Zika virus has affected her newborn son and herself. The problems facing the Brazilian medical industry include the fact the symptoms of the Zika virus resemble those of Dengue, which are both transmitted by the same form of mosquito. Marilia Lima explains the Zika virus has left her son brain damaged because of his visibly undersized head, which is the main symptom of the condition that only arrived on the South American continent in 2015, according to NPR. The lack of knowledge about the Zika virus has left mothers like Lima frustrated and shocked that their children are affected both mentally and physically; one of the most difficult aspects for new mothers to cope with has been news their children have an average life expectancy of around 10 years.
Marilia Lima believes she has been forgotten by the Brazilian medical community, but Dr. Sergio Cortes has been seeking to help people identify the virus using his own blog and publications. Cortes has become something of an expert in reacting to emergency situations after his strong response to the flooding that took place in Rio de Janeiro, reported through Globo. Cortes used his position in the state government to make sure a rapid response was taken with hydration centers amongst the initiatives available to those affected by flooding.
Dr. Sergio Cortes has identified on NPR.org the fact that three different medical conditions are passed on by the same mosquito with each showing many of the same symptoms. Cortes has publicized the fact each condition has symptoms including a high fever, red eyes and joint pains, reports Dino. Anecdotal evidence points to a link between the presence of the Zika virus and the ihnfant medical condition of microcephaly, but the link has yet to be scientifically proven to the annoyance of Lima and other families affected by the condition. Sergio Cortes believes education and the emergence of a possible antidote being developed in Sao Paulo are the keys to fighting the continued spread of the disease. For the mothers of children affected by the condition the work of Sergio Cortes provides some comfort in a country where many believe the health industry has forgotten about them.