of the couples, due to the spread of the virus Î¶Î¯ÎºÎ± that can cause birth defects.
“We recommend to all couples living in the national territory is to avoid the pregnancies” during this phase of spreading the virus, “which can last until July 2016,” said in a statement the ministry of Health.
“We believe that the country is in a phase of the spread of infection from the virus Î¶Î¯ÎºÎ± (ZIKV), i.e. the extension of the epidemic”, explains the ministry.
In a communication dated 7 January, the ministry recommended that all pregnant women living in an area that is located at an altitude of less than 2,200 meters to avoid travel until July 2016 in the areas with lower altitude, where the risk of contracting the disease is increased.
The virus Î¶Î¯ÎºÎ±, that causes fever, skin rashes, headaches and arthralgias, is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, vector also of dengue fever and chikungunya (Ï„ÏƒÎ¹ÎºÎ¿Ï…Î½Î³ÎºÎ¿ÏÎ½Î¹Î±).
Colombia has recorded more than 11,000 confirmed cases of the Î¶Î¯ÎºÎ± and almost 2,000 suspected cases, the majority of which are in the Caribbean, according to a report by the National Institute of Health (INS).
Some of these cases are pregnant -459 confirmed cases and 101 suspected casesâ€“ in which the virus can cause genetic abnormalities in the fetus, and even death.
In Brazil, more than 3,500 cases of Î¼Î¹ÎºÏÎ¿ÎºÎµÏ†Î±Î»Î¯Î±Ï‚, a rare malformation of the brain, have been recorded from October until January, as the epidemic of Î¶Î¯ÎºÎ± spreads. From the analyses showed that in four of these cases, the embryos showed abnormality during pregnancy because of the virus.
The United States called on Friday pregnant women to avoid travel to Colombia and in other 13 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean affected by the epidemic Î¶Î¯ÎºÎ±.