The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus that has spread to at least 50 countries according to the CDC. The World Health Organization estimates that 3 to 4 million people in the Americas will be infected in the next year.
The virus has been connected to microcephaly, a neurological disorder causing an abnormally small head, sometimes leading to death.
The FDA approved the first human trial of a vaccine in June 2016.
There are several international organizations that are providing assistance to people affected and at risk of infection:
Project HOPE supports several women’s and children’s health clinics in the Dominican Republic by providing Zika virus training on awareness and prevention. The organization also travels to communities and helps identify and remove mosquito breeding grounds and teaches citizens how to prevent infection.
MAP International is providing mosquito repellent, antibiotics, and pain relievers in the affected countries.
Operation Blessing International is distributing mosquito nets and repellent to pregnant women in El Salvador and Haiti. The organization is also providing Gambusia, a small fish that eats mosquito larva, to families in Mexico to help prevent the spread of the Zika virus. It’s also providing financial assistance to El Salvador’s government for fumigation and plans to purchase a portable prenatal ultrasound machine.
Direct Relief is supporting partner organizations in several countries throughout Central and South America. The organizations are providing contraceptives, medicine, IV solutions, and repellents. Additionally, it’s assisting mothers and newborns with pre and post-natal resources.
UNICEF launched a 9 million dollar appeal for a program to help stop the spread of the virus and its impact on babies and their families.
Save the Children teams are carrying out assessments in affected regions. The organization’s priority is to educate people about the virus and minimize infection especially in pregnant women.
Team Impact Your World will continue to follow this story and update with any additional ways you can help.