As Puerto Rico continues to suffer from economic crisis, this new case of a Zika-related incident could spark unnecessary concerns.
The first case of microcephaly has been reported in an American woman in Puerto Rico sparking concerns that a Zika outbreak could happen in the U.S.
Puerto Rico’s health department reported the case this week after a fetus, miscarried in the woman’s second trimester, was tested for microcephaly and doctors confirmed that the child did indeed have severe microcephaly and brain plaques associated with the abnormality. The test was carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and has estimated that possibly over 20 percent of Puerto Rico’s residents could be affected by the Zika virus this year.
“This case of Zika virus disease in a pregnancy saddens and concerns us as it highlights the potential for additional cases and associated adverse pregnancy outcomes,” the agency said in a statement.
The U.S. has put in place funding to help potential outbreaks of the Zika virus this summer as mosquito levels are thought to rise. The administration recently requested $1.9 billion to aid emergency funding with opposition from the Republicans and so transferred $510 million from the Ebola fund to fight against Zika.
Worries are mounting in Puerto Rico after 925 cases of Zika have now been reported on the island with 128 of those being pregnant women together with its growing economic crisis that has been ongoing for the past ten years. Tourism has taken a huge hit since Puerto Rico was announced as a high-risk area for the Zika virus.
However, Puerto Rico’s health secretary, Ana Rius, believes that the hype is getting out of control after Major League Baseball pulled out of hosting a series this month.
“This is creating an unnecessary chaos,” she said. “If I’m telling you that there are 925 cases of more than 14,000 analyzed tests, we obviously don’t have that big of a chaos that they want to pretend exists.”
Researchers on the island are currently studying data to find help fight future outbreaks.