Dr. Sergio Cortes is currently the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of Rede D’Or São Luiz in Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Cortes was the State Health Minister of Rio de Janeiro from 2006 to 2013. Dr. Cortes played an active role in preventing a major outbreak of the dengue virus in 2013 when a flood immersed the Xerém, Duque de Caxias area in muddy water, according to an online post by Extra.Globo.com.
But Brazil was immersed in another virus outbreak in May 2015. The Zika virus outbreak caught Brazil by surprise, and before anyone in other parts of the world noticed the Northeastern region of Brazil was inundated with Zika virus cases. Dr. Cortes posted facts about the Zika virus on his official website. The typical symptoms of the virus are not life-threatening, according to Dr. Cortes. In fact, Zika virus symptoms are similar to the high fever, rash, itchy red eyes, and muscle aches that the dengue and chikungunya virus create. People with those viruses endure the symptoms for about seven days.
In August 2015, Dr. Cortes realized that the Zika virus was the main suspect in the number of microcephaly cases that were reported in the region where the Zika virus was spreading at an alarming rate. Microcephaly is the term used when a fetus brain and skull stops developing. Dr. Cortes said the Ministry of Health has received 4,100 potential cases of microcephaly, and 745 of those cases were confirmed. Brazil usually has less than 200 cases a year, according to a Dr. Cortes tweet.
Dr. Cortes thinks Brazil is struggling to keep up with the Zika virus epidemic. More than 220,000 troops have been deployed to eradicate and spread awareness, but that hasn’t stopped the rapid spread of the virus. The complications that has surfaced from the Zika outbreak have made this virus more dangerous than any other outbreak since the 19th-century malaria outbreak, according to Dr. Cortes.
Extra.Globo.com quoted Dr. Cortes when he said the government is distributing mosquito repellant to more than 400,000 pregnant that receive cash-transfer benefits. The Brazilian newspapers say the Andes aegypti mosquito is winning the war in Brazil and the government must take extra steps to eradicate the growing population of that species in Brazil. Dr. Cotes said the Andes aegypti mosquito has been in Brazil for the last 30 years, and the spray eradication process isn’t working anymore.
You can follow them on Linkedin.