An update on the Zika Virus
News has broken of a breakthrough in the search for a vaccine to protect againstÂ the Zika virus. The team of US scientists have found that a possible vaccine "works very well". The scientists describe results from their trials asÂ "striking" and hope they will "galvanise" research efforts and speed the delivery of a vaccine to help bring the fast-spreading virus under control.*Â
Join us in continuing to pray for a breakthrough to help stop the virus. Experts are warning that a licensed vaccine for widespread use could still be years away.Â
Ask God to protect those at risk across Central and South America, and most recently, Africa.Â Please continue to lift up our church partnersÂ and country offices in prayer as they implement strategic measures to protect vulnerable children and pregnant mothers from Zika.Â
Since February, our Brazilian church partners have been runningÂ prevention and awareness campaigns. They have been holding monthly educational sessions and distributing long-sleeved clothing, repellent and mosquito nets. See photos and find out more here >
A total of 452 Brazilian sponsored children and mothers registered in our Child Survival Programme have been affected so far. Compassion Brazil is confident that the outbreak is relatively under control at the moment and they praise God that the number of children impacted has dramatically decreased in recent weeks.
Since the beginning of the year, our projects in Colombia have been caring for thousands of children impacted by Zika, chikungunya or dengue. They confirm that a total of 4,526 children have contracted one of the three viruses. Our church partners have been quick to respond, educating families about how to deterÂ mosquitoes and giving out mosquito nets, repellent and other fumigation resources.
In their latest report, staff members from our Colombian office are overwhelmingly thankful that all children who were impacted by a mosquito-borne virus are now recovering. Please continue to pray for allÂ vulnerable Colombian children and pregnant mothers. Find out more about the answers to prayer in Colombia >
12 children from our El Salvadorian projects have contracted Zika since February. Again, our church partners have been going above and beyond to fumigate affected areas, clean water storage containers and educate children families on prevention strategies. The 12 children who were suffering from Zika have been given access to medical treatment and are now recovering well.Â
On February 1, the president of Honduras declared the Zika virus to be a national emergency. There were 3,037 cases diagnosed in the country throughout December and January. Our Honduran church partners were regularly reporting new cases of children who had contracted Zika, dengue and chikungunya, with Zika making up the majority of cases. They were able to provide medical treatment and distribute mosquito nets thanks to our RESPOND ministry.
The team at Compassion Honduras praise God that incidences seem to be under control and there have been few new cases since March.Â
* Zika vaccine "works very well" in mice, BBC News, 28 June 16