Vicente Corral Moscoso Hospital has treated Cuenca’s first case of the Zika virus. Administrators say the treatment was successful and that the patient was discharged.
The hospital’s health coordinator, Oswaldo Suarez, said that the patient was infected during a recent trip to the coast or in the nearby city of Portoviejo. “The mosquitoes carrying the virus cannot live at Cuenca’s altitude so people who have not traveled to lower areas do not need to worry about infection since it cannot be transmitted person to person,” he said.
He said that local hospitals expect to see more cases during and after the Carnival weekend since many Cuencanos will travel to the coast and other areas where the virus is active. “It is even possible to contract the disease is mountain areas such as Yunguilla and Vilcabamba since they are below the 1,700 meter limit for disease-carrying mosquitoes,” he said.
Suarez suggests that those traveling to lower elevations protect themselves with insect repellent and clothing. “Because of the rain at the coast, there will be more mosquitoes than normal so precautions should be taken.”