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.
With Zika inevitably making its way to the U.S., what can the country do to prepare? There might be something to learn from Central America's response.
This is the final 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 two looks at the chain reaction set off by the virus in Latin America.