Spanish version

HEALTH

Gov't spends $8 million fighting zika virus

The disease is spread by mosquitoes.

Spanish version

Temas:

Health Minister Francisco Javier Terrientes said the ministry has spent $8 million of the $10 million that the government approved in February to address the zika virus.

Terrientes explained that the money has been spent to educate the community about the importance of eliminating mosquito breeding sites as they transmit the dengue, chikungunya and zika viruses.

That money has also paid for fumigation and research grants.

In April the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies, the National Secretariat of Science and Technology, the Institute for Scientific Research and High Technology Services and the Ministry of Health signed an agreement to begin an investigation of reducing mosquito populations.

Terrientes stressed that the advantage that Panama has over other countries in the region is that it has agencies such as the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies which allows it to better respond to health issues. 

However, he said the most important thing is that the community works to eliminate breeding sites to control these diseases.

As of last week, there have been 245 cases of zika virus confirmed in the country. The first cases were diagnosed in December.

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