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Emergency in Brazil after 2,400 infatns are born with brain damage

05:12 PM | 24 Dec, 2015
Emergency in Brazil after 2,400 infatns are born with brain damage
SAO PAULO (Web Desk) - Brazilian health authorities are sounding the alarm about a mosquito-borne virus that they believe may be the cause of thousands of infants being born with damaged brains.

The pathogen, known as Zika and first discovered in forest monkeys in Africa over 70 years ago, is the new West Nile - a virus that causes mild symptoms in most but can lead to serious neurological complications or even death in others.

Brazil's health ministry said on Novemeber 28 that it had found the Zika virus in a baby with microcephaly - a rare condition in which infants are born with shrunken skulls - during an autopsy after the child died.

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The virus was also found in the amniotic fluid of two mothers whose babies had the condition.

"This is an unprecedented situation, unprecedented in world scientific research," the ministry said in a statement on its website, according to CNN.

Brazil is investigating more than more than 2,400 suspected cases of microcephaly and 29 deaths of infants that occurred this year. Last year the country saw only 147 cases of microcephaly.

The situation in Brazil is so overwhelming that Angela Rocha, a paediatric infectious diseases specialist in Pernambuco, one of the hardest hit states, said in an interview with CNN that women may want to hold off on getting pregnant.

"These are newborns who will require special attention their entire lives. It's an emotional stress that just can't be imagined,” Rocha said. "We're talking about a generation of babies that's going to be affected."

The World Health Organization, which has been monitoring the spread of the virus closely and issued an alert about the situation in Brazil, reported this month that it had popped up for the first time in the West African nation of Cape Verde and that it had led to additional illnesses in Panama and Honduras.

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Brazil has been struggling to contain the virus for months through both public education campaigns - which urge residents to use insect repelant and limit their time outdoors - as well as by sending mosquito eradication teams house to house to treat places where aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the virus might breed.

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The health ministry said it was sending truckloads of larvicide - enough to treat 3,560 Olympic-sized swimming pools - to northeastern and southeastern states that have been most affected and that it would add 266,000 new community health agents to make the house calls.

The writer is a member of the staff.

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pakistani rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 23 April 2024

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US Dollar and other currencies on April 22, 2024 Monday in open market.

USD to PKR rate today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro stands at 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound hovers at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.20 and Saudi Riyal's new rate was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 23 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.5 346
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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