Zika virus in Colombia

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The outbreak of Zika virus in Colombia was first detected in 2015. As on 20 February 2016, Colombia has reported over 37,011 confirmed cases of Zika infection making it the second highest Zika cases. More than 6,536 pregnant women are infected with Zika, but no cases of related microcephaly have been reported.

The Colombian province of Norte de Santander reported nearly 5,000 cases of the virus, more than any other in the country.

Popular tourist destinations Cartagena and Santa Marta, had more than 11,000 cases of the virus.

In 2016, the national health institute in Colombia reported that 2100 pregnant women have contracted the Zika virus. The virus could hit an estimated 600,000 people in 2016.


Turbo is an Afro-Colombian town with a population of 60,000. The town is known for its banana plantations.

Zika virus has spread rapidly in Turbo and there have been five severe cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome in January and February of 2016. Among those five, three patients have died and one is undergoing treatment in an intensive care unit. The fifth case is a 10-year-old girl who couldn't move her legs.


  • Feb 4: Colombian Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria has confirmed three deaths of patients contracted with Zika virus. A man and a woman were admitted to a hospital in Colombia's second largest city Medellín with symptoms of Guillain-Barré. They both died. Another man died in late November. Two other deaths were caused by Guillain–Barré syndrome, but it is unconfirmed if they have Zika virus.
  • Feb 5: Colombian health minister says Colombia has considerable experience in family planning.
  • Feb 6: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirms more than 25,000 Zika cases in Colombia. The number is projected to reach 600,000 before the epidemic reaches its ceiling. State and local authorities are working to reduce mosquito population. A medical-scientific team from the United States will arrive to help investigate the outbreak. Government urges women to delay getting pregnant from six to eight months.
  • Feb 13: Colombia’s National Health Institute releases the latest numbers of Zika virus infections in the country. More than 31,555 confirmed cases of Zika have been reported, including 5,013 in pregnant women. There is a 23% jump in the total number of Zika cases compared to the previous week and 57.8% in cases of pregnant women.
  • Feb 20: Colombian health authorities release new numbers of Zika cases in the country. The total number of Zika virus cases in the country now stands at 37,011 including 6,356 pregnant women. In the last week, 5,456 cases of Zika virus were reported.