Zika Virus News: Disease Expected To Infect 1 In 5 Puerto Ricans

A health worker prepares insecticide before fumigating in a neighborhood in San Juan, January 27, 2016. Puerto Rico is to release a report on Zika cases on the island this week which will show that around 18 cases are confirmed, the U.S. territory's health secretary Ana Rius told reporters on Tuesday. REUTERS/Alvin Baez

One out of five Puerto Ricans will become infected with Zika virus by the end of the year, experts have warned; alarming the rest of the U.S and creating serious challenges for the community where poverty is keeping many residents from basic preventative measures like window screens and health care. There are 117 confirmed cases of the disease in the Caribbean island, four times the number at the end of January, The Washington Post reports.

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to stop the Zika outbreak,” said Steve Waterman, chief of the CDC’s dengue branch, located on the city’s west side. “There will be a substantial Zika outbreak that will peak in the summer and fall. It’s likely that thousands of pregnant women will be exposed and infected, so that’s why our efforts are focused on protecting as many pregnant women as possible.”

In response to the raising threat, the governor has declared a public health emergency in the territory, while; the CDC has sent nearly 40 health workers to help, adding that the $1.8 billion President Obama requested to tackle the Zika outbreak included $250 million for Puerto Rico.

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Juliana Barrera

Juliana Barrera started her mass communications career in the entertainment business at Estefan Enterprises, where she successfully participated in a variety of projects related to production, marketing and public relations for the company. She worked for three years as a writer and editor at La Vox Media group, the platform for an independent voice for Hispanic America. Additionally, she completed an internship at VIACOM  engaging audiences through pro-social initiatives. 

Juliana is a graduate student from Florida International University, her major is mass communications  and she has a minor in psychology. Her work has been published by HuffPost LatinoVoices, Latin Times, VOXXI, politic 365, La Opinión and others.