Brazil can’t catch a break. The country is experiencing one of the worse recessions in more than 100 years, and there have been several recent disasters that have tested the fortitude of this incredible country. A Zika virus outbreak is the latest catastrophe to hit Brazil. President Dilma Rousseff recently declared a war on the Zika virus. The army is beginning to eradicate the breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes. State Secretary of Health Sergio Cortes has been busy with the recent flood in the city of Xerém, and his main objective is to prevent the diseases that spread after floods.
Xerém sits in a mountainous area about 30 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. The city has experienced floods in the past, but this early January flood overtook the city and destroyed more than 250 homes. Hundreds of people are living in temporary shelters with no clean water and a minimum amount of food. Hundreds of bottles of water have been donated, but the residents need more, according to Dr. Cortes. Cortes and his medical team are trying to clean-up the water supply with sodium hypochlorite. Calamity kit boxes are being passed out, and team members are working with the homeless, so they become aware of the risks they face in the coming weeks.
The city of Xerém is a shadow of its former self. Garbage is piled high in the streets, and pools of contaminated water are everywhere. Cortes and his medical team are trying to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of disease, but there is a lot of work to do, according to a recent post in Extra.Globo.com. The article in Extra.Globo.com said that Secretary Sergio Cortes is asking for more calamity kit boxes. The team has also passed out more than 3,000 antibiotic pills, but the residents need more, according to the article.
The spring storm that dumped more than 8 inches of rain in 24 hours is the culprit that turned the normally tranquil Capivari River into a raging water monster. The city has experienced floods in the past, but none of them have been as devastating as this one.
Dr. Cortes and his wikipedia research team are doing all they can to help the city as the threat of disease increases. Cortes has asked the government for help. There’s no doubt that Xerém will be a priority for mosquito eradication in the next couple of weeks. Dr. Cortes has a Twitter account if people want to tweet him. More information about Cortes and his work can be found on his LinkedIn page.