02092016Tue
Last update: Tue, 09 Feb 2016 10am

South America

World - South America

First Zika-linked deaths reported in Colombia BOGOTA: The mosquito-borne Zika virus sweeping through Latin America has claimed three lives in Colombia, as the United Nations urged increased access to abortion because of fears of severe birth defects.In the first direct statements from government health officials blaming Zika for causing deaths, Colombia's National Health Institute (INS) said Friday that the patients died after contracting the virus and developing a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.Cases of the syndrome -- in which the immune system attacks the nervous system, causing weakness and sometimes paralysis -- have increased in tandem with the Zika outbreak, fueling suspicions that it is a complication of the otherwise mild tropical fever, which is also blamed for causing brain damage in babies born to infected mothers."Other cases (of deaths linked to Zika) are going to emerge," said epidemiologist Martha Lucia Ospina, director of the INS."The world is realizing that Zika can be deadly. The ...

World - South America

South America holds crisis meeting as Zika 'nightmare' spreads MONTEVIDEO: South American health ministers held an emergency meeting Wednesday on slowing the spread of the Zika virus, dubbed a "nightmare" by hard-hit Brazil, where it is blamed for brain damage in babies.With health authorities warning the disease could infect up to four million people in the Americas, ministers from 14 countries held talks in Uruguay to plot their response to the growing crisis, with fears the virus could spread worldwide.The meeting focused on ways ...

World - South America

Brazil's Rousseff vows all-out war on Zika virus mosquito BRASILIA: Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff said her government will not spare resources in mobilizing her country to combat the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus now spreading rapidly through the Americas."There will be no lack of funding," Rousseff said in an address to a joint session of Brazil's Congress at the start of its legislative year.Rousseff also said Brazil and the United States will enter a partnership to develop a vaccine against Zika as soon ...

World - South America

Argentina starts talks with hedge fund holdouts NEW YORK: Argentina's new government began negotiations with hedge fund creditors Monday, amid reports it wants them to write off up to a quarter of their bonds to settle a long-running dispute.Finance Secretary Luis Caputo arrived Monday morning at the New York offices of the US court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack in a fresh effort to end a debt battle rooted in the country's $100 billion default in 2001.Major Argentine newspaper Clarin said the government, which ...

World - South America

Brazil issues Olympics warning as WHO declares Zika emergency GENEVA: Brazil warned pregnant women Monday to stay away from the Summer Olympics after the World Health Organization declared an international emergency over the Zika virus, blamed for causing a surge in brain-damaged babies.The UN health body said that a rise in cases of microcephaly -- in which babies are born with an abnormally small head -- was likely caused by the mosquito-borne virus, and declared the situation a "public health emergency of international concern."That ...

World - South America

WHO mulls global health emergency declaration on Zika GENEVA: The World Health Organization's emergency committee will on Monday debate whether a Zika virus outbreak suspected of causing a surge in serious birth defects in South America should be considered a global health emergency.The UN health agency warned last week that the mosquito-borne virus was "spreading explosively" in the Americas, with the region expected to see up to four million cases this year.The WHO is under pressure to act quickly in the fight against ...

World - South America

Brazil's Rousseff vows to win Zika 'war' SALVADOR: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff vowed Friday to "win the war" against the Zika virus, but some experts criticized her government's response and warned the Olympics could fuel the disease's spread.The tropical virus is blamed for cases of brain damage in babies as it sweeps through Latin America, and Rousseff, whose government is deploying 220,000 soldiers to help eradicate the mosquitoes that transmit it, likened the outbreak to a battle."As long as (the mosquitoes) are ...