Zika Virus Information
As we haven’t had any significant cases of Zika virus infections in Florianópolis, we assure our foreign students that we are in a safer location to travel. But taking some precautions is never a bad idea.
OFFICIAL ADVISORY MESSAGE TO TRAVEL PROFESSIONALS AND PARTNERS
Embratur (the Brazilian Tourism Board) informs tourism professionals that there are no travel or trade restrictions to countries, regions and/or territories connected with the transmission of the Zika virus. The guidance is in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Tourism Organization (WTO). It is recommended that people should adopt precautionary measures when planning to travel to areas where there is transmission of the virus.
In Brazil, the recommendation is that Brazilian and foreign tourists take simple steps that can prevent contact with the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the transmitter of dengue, Zika virus and the chikungunya fever. These steps include: use repellents to protect themselves from mosquito exposure; keep doors and windows closed or screened; and wear pants and long-sleeved shirts. It is also important to pay attention to possible insect breeding around residential spaces.
Another guideline is that, regardless of the destination or reason, pregnant women and women of childbearing age should consult their doctor before traveling. For this segment of the public, the suggestion is to only use drugs prescribed by health professionals, have a qualified prenatal examination provided at this stage, in addition to reporting any changes during pregnancy.
The federal government has mobilized 19 agencies and institutions to work together in handling this situation, as well as the participation of states and municipalities. A National Office for Coordination and Control Of The Combat Against Microcephaly was created to manage actions across the country and strengthen the fight against the Aedes aegypti. The budget for this initiative has been reinforced and will reach BRL$ 1.87 billion (nearly US$ 500 million). Part of this budget has already been used to purchase strategic items, such as larvacides, pesticides and diagnostic kits.
Brazil has more than 300,000 fighting agents working directly to eliminate the mosquito outbreaks. On February 13th, 220,000 military soldiers will take part in a major direct action. In order to ensure that people have reliable and updated information, printed materials, including educational booklets, posters, brochures and comic books, will be distributed nationwide. These materials contain guidelines on combating mosquitos, symptoms of diseases, and specific information for pregnant women and women of childbearing age. Social media networks and digital platforms are also being widely used for this purpose.
The government is also organizing community task forces in the Brazilian states with the highest record of the disease, to mobilize local government, community and religious leaders, the media and the public against theAedes aegypti. The government is also mobilizing specialized units to perform residential inspections, and implement additional safety measures in public spaces and events.
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