Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 14th 2016 Contents A31
February 14, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago ("the Authority") advises that a Cell Phone Waiting Lot, located adjacent to the
Piarco Police Station, is now available for the public's use at no charge. Motorists meeting passengers can utilise this
convenient and safe area while waiting on their arriving passengers to call to say they are ready to be picked up at the
Arrivals area. This eliminates waiting curbside at the Airport or on the roadway, (which may result in a parking ticket and /
or being towed), while arriving passengers go through Immigration and Customs or wait for luggage.
The Cell Phone Car Park is a new initiative geared towards achieving our goal of providing exemplary customer service for
our airport users.
Cell Phone Waiting Lot
at the Piarco International Airport
GOLDEN GROVE ROAD
PIA's cell phone waiting lot is
Golden Grove Road,
Colombia is one of the countries at the
frontline of the Zika crisis. It has also seen
an alarming number of cases of Guillain-
Barre syndrome---which can cause devas-
tating paralysis. Scientists are cautious of
making a direct connection between the
two, but on the frontline the panic is real---
Imagine losing control over the muscles
in your body. It starts with pins and needles
in your feet. You lose feeling in your legs.
Then you can t even blink. Victims of Guil-
lain-Barre can sometimes show the whites
of their eyes, as if they are the living dead.
And, in the worst cases, it can mean you
can no longer breathe.
Fabian Medina, 22, should be in the prime
of his life but he has the vitality of a man
of 90. He s recovering from the paralysis
after two weeks in intensive care.
If he hadn t been on ventilation, he would
be dead. When asked if he has children,
Fabian struggles to lift up one finger. Then,
with a curling gesture, he describes the
roundness of a pregnant woman s belly and
starts to weep.
His wife Karen, three months pregnant,
has had Zika; the symptoms were mild, the
consequence yet to be known. "My fear,"
she explains, "is that on the news they say
your baby can be deformed. I am really
frightened and pray to God that nothing
bad will happen."
What might be seen when a baby is born
is causing great anxiety in South America:
terrifying birth deformities where babies
are born missing the front part of their
brains, known as microcephaly.
The prime suspect for the birth deformities is the
Zika virus. Zika, carried by the Aedes Egypti mosquito,
is suspected of causing 400 confirmed cases of micro-
cephaly in Brazil. Many doctors in Colombia believe
that Zika is also causing the paralysis.
Others are sceptical about linking Zika with Guil-
lain-Barre syndrome. WHO spokesman Christian
Lindmeier said: "We must really be cautious and not
mix the two too much," as the link has not yet been
proven by experts.
The outbreak of the creeping paralysis in Colombia
started in October but it won t be until June that it
will be known if there will be an increase in babies
born with microcephaly. In Cucuta and the sur-
rounding area, there are 27 cases of paralysis and
27,000 cases of Zika across the whole of Colombia.
For the moment, there is no treatment and no
vaccine. The only way of not contracting the disease
is prevention, wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers
and dousing yourself with mosquito repellent.
Zika was first identified in Uganda in 1947 but
traditionally it was seen as a mild viral fever. It was
then seen in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Now it is in South America, and there multiple reports
of paralysis and birth defects.
Dr Marco Fonseca is a neuro-surgeon in Cucuta.
"It looks like the virus changed in some way," he
said. "I m afraid there is some change in the genome.
This is Zika-plus. A mutation."
Dr Fonseca doesn t rule out environmental factors
and is waiting for the definitive answer from the
biologists and the epidemiologists.
Other scientists are considering the possibility that
Zika is behaving the same as it has in the past, but
that the consequences are different because it is in
The Colombian authorities are trying hard to raise
awareness of the dangers from Zika.
Soldiers deployed to warn of risks
More than 200,000 soldiers have been deployed
across Brazil to warn people about the risks of the
Zika virus. Brazil is at the centre of an outbreak of
The country has 462 confirmed cases of micro-
cephaly, and is investigating another 3,852 suspected
President Dilma Rousseff said the crisis would not
"compromise" the Olympics Brazil is hosting in
Brazilian troops are going door to door, handing
out four million leaflets advising people about the
risks of the virus, carried by mosquitoes. (BBC)
Colombia: A nation in panic over Zika
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, right, poses for a photo with locals wearing T-shirts that
read in Portuguese "Out Zika" during the launch of the Zero Zika national campaign.
A soldier sets a banner that reads in Portuguese "A
mosquito is not stronger than a whole country" at
the Central station, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
yesterday. More than 200,000 army, navy and air
force troops are fanning out across Brazil to show
people how to eliminate mosquitoes. (AP PHOTOS)
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