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Brazilian, Colombian border towns cooperate in combating mosquito-transmitted diseases: report

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Two towns in the Brazil-Colombia border have enhanced cooperation by integrating forces to efficiently deal with the diseases caused by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, Brazil's news agency Agencia Brasil reported on Tuesday.

The two towns of Brazil's Tabatinga and Colombia's Leticia have established a bilateral coordination and control office, in a bid to minimize the infestations escalated by the free flow of people in the area.

"Actions are not integrated now, but (will be) when we have materials and workers available. The perspective now is to carry out unique, integrated actions at a partnership level," said Bernardino Albuquerque, head of the Health Surveillance Agency in the Brazilian state of Amazonas.

He added that it will be useless to carry out actions to halt the mosquitoes' reproduction on the one side of the border and not do the same on the other side.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito can transmit a number of diseases, most notably dengue fever, chikungunya and zika virus.

Dengue, which in its hemorrhagic form can be lethal, usually does not have any lasting effects. However, the other two diseases, relatively new and thus more infectious in the South American continent, have less serious symptoms but much more dangerous side effects compared with Dengue.

Chikungunya fever can trigger in susceptible people the Guillan-Barre Syndrome, which basically means an inflammation of the nerves.

Moreover, babies born by the women infected with the zika virus during their gestation can suffer from microcephaly, which renders the babies with smaller cranium and developmental delays.

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