SANTIAGO DE CHILE - The Chilean government established a ministerial technical committee of experts to tackle the Zika virus in the country, which convened its first meeting Wednesday.
The committee, which is to advise and develop a contingency plan, will be chaired by Bernardo Martorell, head of the Sanitary Planning Division of the Secretariat of Public Health.
According to acting health minister Jaime Burrows, at least 15 professionals, including WHO representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Chile and authorities from the Easter Island, will form part of the initiative.
The committee will propose measures in the areas of surveillance, control, laboratory facilities, clinical management, health network management and coordination.
On Feb. 2, the Chilean authorities confirmed three cases of the zika virus in the country among three men who had visited Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil where the disease is prevalent.
The zika virus was already present in Chile since 2014, when 173 cases were reported on the Easter Island, situated more than 3.000 kilometers from the mainland, although there have been no reports of new outbreaks.
The virus causes symptoms such as fever, joint pain and rashes, according to experts.