COLOMBIA — Colombia’s government on Tuesday warned of a “major economic collapse” due to the Zika virus, but officials stressed the country still has a lot of work to do to contain the spread of the disease.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the Zika outbreak has caused economic difficulties, with many businesses being unable to open, and some people unable to go to work.
Santos said the country’s economy will probably collapse by the end of 2018, and that his government is taking measures to ensure its citizens’ safety.
The health ministry has issued a warning to citizens about possible complications from the virus.
The warning comes as a team of U.N. officials and U.S. health officials report that a coronavirus outbreak has spread across the Americas, and warned of possible new cases, including in California and New York.
The United States is experiencing the highest number of cases of the virus, with at least 2,500 people infected.
The CDC estimates that about 1,300 Americans have died, but the U.K. has reported more than 300 new cases.
The Zika outbreak is linked to an increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly, a condition in which the brain is abnormally small and development slows.
In the United States, more than 8,000 babies have been born with the condition since October.