Mosquito can't beat 204 million people, Rousseff says

Ana Cristina Campos reports from Agência Brasil

President Dilma Rousseff said today (Feb. 19) the Aedes aegypti mosquito cannot defeat the country. “A mosquito can't beat 204 million people. We're much stronger than this mosquito. In fact, it serves as an example, as a symbol for us. We're currently going through a hard time our country. This country will grow, generate employment, keep launching programs like the Minha Casa, Minha Vida [affordable housing program],” she stated, while delivering housing units in the northeastern state of Pernambuco.

Rousseff went on to say that, as part of the new phase in the campaign against the mosquito, she was still to travel to Juazeiro, Bahia. In addition to the president, at least 25 ministers are traveling throughout the country to raise awareness among students about the combat against the Aedes aegypti, the transmitter of dengue fever, chikungunya, and the Zika virus.

After mentioning that Pernambuco is the state with the highest number of cases of Zika, Rousseff pledged that the government is to use “all of its resources” to guarantee a vaccine against the virus is developed. She stressed, however, that that happens, actions preventing the mosquito from breeding must be taken.

The president urged the population to win a weekly fight against the mosquito by eliminating possible breeding sites. “We mustn't let the mosquito go free. It won't transmit the virus if it doesn't bite anyone, and the pregnant women carrying the future of the country in their wombs won't have to deal with the sadness of having a child with microcephaly,” she concluded.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

Edited by: Denise Griesinger / Nira Foster