WRITTEN BY: DARIA SZEPKOUSKI | STAFF WRITER
Eight PLNU students and two leaders in LoveWorks will be headed to Brazil—which is experiencing an out-break of the Zika Virus that causes one’s muscles to weaken and birth defects for newborn babies.
Since the spread of the Zika Virus, LoveWorks is taking precautions to make sure everyone within the program is safe.
“We monitor news sources broadly and remain in regular contact with our hosts to keep aware of new and changing health concerns in their areas,” says Brian Becker, the director of international ministries.
According to government websites, the Zika virus, is transmitted through mosquitos and is said to be hazardous across the country of Brazil.
In a televised interview, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, mentioned that the disease was once a “distant nightmare” but has recently become a “real threat.”
“We will always divert or cancel a trip when our hosts or other sources make it clear that the trip is ill-advised,” Becker said.
Currently in Brazil, efforts are being made to combat the virus outbreak by the government who is working on a vaccine, but as of now, mosquito prevention is the best source for safety.
“When someone on a team takes ill, their team co-leaders are trained to care for them,” Becker said. “When needed, the host who invited us guides us to a clinic or hospital for treatment. LoveWorks usually covers all the medical costs and always carries insurance for accidents and emergency care.”
The Zika virus not only has the power to affect LoveWork teams abroad, but the programs that are in the United States too because the virus may have reached the United States according to ABC News.
ABC News added that five counties in Florida—Broward, Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa, have all entered a state of emergency because of the mosquito transmitted virus. “Although Florida’s current nine
Zika cases were travel-related, we have to ensure Florida is prepared and stays ahead of the spread of the Zika virus in our state,” Florida Governor Rick Scott told ABC News.
If you are traveling and would like to learn more about the Zika Virus in order to precautionary measures, you can call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at 800-232-4636.
Photo by: PLNU LoveWorks Youtube channel