Brazil has been inundated with the Zika virus. It is the first major attack of the Zika virus in Brazilian history, according to Dr. Cortes, the former Director and current medical advisor for the State Ministry of Health in Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Cortes told Extra.Globo.com that the Zika virus is just one of the Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that impacts the poverty stricken areas as well as the wealthy areas of Brazil.
Millions of Brazilians come down with dengue and chikungunya every year, and some of those people die because there is no vaccine, and the mosquito population continues to increase. The healthcare system has advanced in terms of technology and drugs, but when it comes to controlling mosquito-borne diseases the healthcare system is still in the dark ages.
CrunchBase.com lists Dr. Cortes as the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of Rede D’Or São Luiz in Rio de Janeiro, but he is still very active in the development of a sensible healthcare system that addresses the mosquito-borne virus issue. Cortes wants to find a multi-faceted solution that can save the lives of thousands of people living below the poverty level. A Dr. Cortes official website post said the Zika virus has opened the eyes of the world to the ineptness in controlling mosquito-borne diseases.
The Zika virus is just one of the infectious diseases that are considered neglected tropical diseases. Billions of people around the world are infected every year NTD’s, and more than 30,000 people die every year from mosquito bites. In a tweet, Dr. Cortes encouraged nongovernmental organizations, the pharmaceutical industry, donors and the government to invest in the prevention and the control of mosquito-borne diseases. Dr. Cortes said that even though the symptoms of these neglected tropical diseases may be similar they react differently once they enter the human body.
The Zika virus has made a huge impact on the healthcare system in Brazil, but the virus has also affected the healthcare industry in every country in Latin America. Zika has demonstrated the uncanny ability to disrupt, confuse and intimidate health officials as well as the general public. Dr. Cortes believes the Zika virus will be the catalyst for change in healthcare systems in countries that didn’t take tropical diseases seriously in the past. Climate change is creating new territory for the mosquitoes that carry viruses that can be passed to humans. It not just the poor countries that are targets for mosquitoes anymore. The rich countries are being affected and infected too.
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