Tegucigalpa, February 3 (RHC-teleSUR) -- The Honduran government has declared a state of emergency due to the Zika virus after the Health Ministry reported at least 3,700 people infected nationwide.
However, it is believed that the figures could be inflated by the confusion of symptoms with similar mosquito-borne viruses, such as Dengue and Chikungunya.
Zika cases have been confirmed in 23 countries and territories in the Americas. The latest figures make Colombia the second most affected nation by the mosquito-borne virus in South America after Brazil, which is the epi-centre of the outbreak.
The virus may cause the birth defect microcephaly — a fetal deformity in newborn babies leading to smaller than normal brains — due to a concurrent rise in cases, although no scientific link has yet been found. Brazil currently has more than 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly.
The World Health Organisation estimates that there could be 3-4 million cases of Zika in the Americas over the next year, for this reason the U.N. health body has declared a state of emergency over the outbreak.
The WHO has warned that India could soon be affected by the Zika virus since the Asian country is still struggling to contain other diseases spread by mosquitoes. In the coming days, there will be an emergency meeting with the world's health ministers.