After Donald Trump, three leaders who have caught the Zika virus while abroad. It was the third such case in Brazil and Mexico on Tuesday. Brazilian President Michel Temer confirmed that an anti-Zika campaign had missed its target in his home state, suggesting further investigations are needed to confirm the virus is present in the country.
Confirming a virus infected with a virus. . . pic.twitter.com/rBTELO5N23 — Elian Peltier (@ElianPeltier) October 2, 2018
The first reported case of the illness, announced by Brazil on Monday, was Deputy Health Minister Lanthili Ramos, a member of Temer’s own party. He had recently returned from a trip to a hot zone for the disease in the Carioca region of Brazil’s northeast. And Reuters reported that a second potential victim, 23-year-old psychologist Regina de Andrade Coronado, is expected to join Ramos on Tuesday in the federal health ministry.
While Public Health Minister Marcelo Castro identified Ramos as a “repeat offender” of the virus, Temer said that Ramos was the victim of “the failure of his actions” while he was driving.
The Zika virus appears to be spreading rapidly across Latin America. In some cases, scientists have linked the virus to fetal deaths in some regions. Brazil’s government declared a public health emergency and dispatched aircraft to investigate the disease earlier this year. And while the virus appeared to be mostly contained in the tropical and mountain states of South America, it has appeared in the Amazon region of Brazil and in the north west Brazilian states of Ceara and Pernambuco.
Zika’s transmission is believed to have been caused by the bite of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Since 2015, several countries in South America and the Caribbean have had widespread outbreaks of the virus. But as the disease has spread to neighboring countries, it has also also been detected in the United States.
To understand how this epidemic might shape the next U.S. elections, read Jessica Valenti’s essay for TIME, “Forget the Fringe; It’s Time to Use Zika to Stop Trump.”