• Costa Rica Real Estate

World Bank: Zika will cost Latin America $3.5 billion in 2016

February 18, 2016

Economic losses associated with the mosquito-borne Zika virus spreading across Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to total roughly $3.5 billion this year, according to initial estimates from the World Bank released Thursday.

The organization announced it would provide $150 million to support vector surveillance and control, and identification of vulnerable populations — especially pregnant women and women of reproductive age. It also said it would use the money to promote access to family planning, and to provide prenatal care for Zika-infected pregnant women and postnatal care for babies in the event of neurological complications. Some health experts suspect a strong link between Zika and an apparent surge of babies born in Brazil with microcephaly, a condition marked by an undersized head and brain damage.

The World Bank said Zika-related losses would likely be “modest” but could hit tourism-dependent countries in the region hard. Foregone income in such countries, including Belize, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas, could range from 0.8 percent to 1.6 percent of their GDP, the World Bank said.

Costa Rican authorities have reported just two cases of the mosquito-borne virus this year, and have been working to assure tourists that the country is safe to visit. They say there is no scientific evidence suggesting an active virus circulation in the country. The two confirmed cases in Costa Rica were contracted outside of the country.

Nevertheless, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put Costa Rica on its travel watch list for the virus after it detected Zika in a U.S. man who had visited Costa Rica in January.

The spread of the Zika virus coincides with high tourism season for much of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Besides potential lost income from cancelled vacations to the region, the World Bank report said other losses would likely take the form of lost productivity among individuals who contract the virus, assuming a one-week absence from work. “Given the mild symptoms of the disease for those affected, this cost is very low,” the report states.

Zika is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same type that spreads dengue and chikungunya.

The World Bank warned that if steps are not taken to reign in the virus’ spread “the human and longer-term effects of the disease and their economic impacts will increase.”

Among those long-term impacts would be health care costs associated with microcephaly if a link is confirmed between the birth defect and the virus.

Recommended: With abortion banned in Zika countries, women beg on web for abortion pills

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Seven arrested in Costa Rica for bomb attacks
Costa Rica
104 views
Costa Rica
104 views

Seven arrested in Costa Rica for bomb attacks

AFP and The Tico Times - October 22, 2019

Seven members of a Costa Rican gang accused of carrying out two bomb attacks at the headquarters of the Legislative…

Three Colombians detained in Costa Rica with 1.4 metric tons of cocaine
Colombia
86 views
Colombia
86 views

Three Colombians detained in Costa Rica with 1.4 metric tons of cocaine

AFP and The Tico Times - October 22, 2019

Costa Rican authorities intercepted a boat with 1,410 kilos of cocaine on Monday and arrested three Colombians who were on…

Vice President Epsy Campbell out of hospital following health scare
Costa Rica
45 views
Costa Rica
45 views

Vice President Epsy Campbell out of hospital following health scare

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 22, 2019

Vice President Epsy Campbell was treated Monday at Calderón Guardia Hospital in San José after presenting with elevated blood pressure.…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!