Newsy / Kevin Clancy

Zika's Untold War: Chain Reaction

Newsy traveled to El Salvador, where the Zika virus has magnified the region's social and political problems.

By Kevin Clancy | July 11, 2016

El Salvador's doctors are racing to learn more about the connection between Zika and birth defects. Meanwhile, another disease linked with Zika makes an impact on the country.

El Salvador's Ministry of Health reported an estimated 7,138 suspected cases of the Zika virus were detected between December and January of 2016. In a country of just 6 million people, the seemingly sudden rise of this health crisis seized those expecting or attempting to get pregnant with fears of devastating fetal defects like microcephaly, hearing loss and impaired growth. 

Newsy investigates the roles of the church and government in Salvadoran reproductive rights, the link between Zika and birth defects, the rise of Guillain-Barre syndrome, and recent medical breakthroughs that all highlight the international significance of El Salvador's struggle to combat the virus. 

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This is the second part in a three-part series on the Zika virus. Part one explores the struggle between the women of El Salvador and a government that restricts family planning. Part three looks at preparations in the U.S. and what can be learned from El Salvador's battle with Zika.

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