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article imagePuerto Rico reporting 1,100 Zika cases as debt crisis worsens

By Karen Graham     May 22, 2016 in Health
San Juan - Puerto Rico has recorded over 1,100 confirmed Zika virus cases since the mosquito-borne virus first appeared in the U.S. territory six months ago.
The island's health secretary, Ana Rius says that of the 1,108 cases, 139 of them are pregnant women. There is heightened concern for pregnant women because the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in newborns. There has also been one Zika-related death in Puerto Rico.
The first case of a baby born with microcephaly on U.S. soil was recorded in Puerto Rico last week, according to Yahoo News. Rius added that the virus has caused 27 people to be hospitalized with seven patients experiencing the temporary paralysis condition known as Guillain-Barre.
Puerto Rico is contending with the Zika virus even as the island territory continues to cope with an ongoing debt crisis. Through the old city of San Juan, passers-by are confronted with shuttered storefronts bearing signs that read “se vende” — “for sale.” Most of this month's debt payment was missed.
The debt crisis in Puerto Rico has forced many doctors to go unpaid while many more have left the island. With a debt hovering around $72 billion, and the territory already struggling with high poverty levels, access to medical care, especially Medicaid is almost non-existent for most people.
All this is taking place as the U.S. soccer team arrives today for a series of matches while the U.S. swimming team cancelled its training camp that was to take place the latter part of July in favor of being exceedingly cautious over the Zika virus threat. The swim team will be holding their training camp in Atlanta before the August Olympic Games begin.
Fox News is reporting that the Pittsburg Pirates and Miami Dolphins series that was to be played in Puerto Rico was cancelled. The two teams will now meet at Marlins Park May 30-31 for their series.
More about Puerto rico, zika cases, microcephaly, Pregnant women, Zika virus
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