Mexican Border Businessmen Fear Spread of Zika Virus, Demand Government Action

Reuters/Carlos Jasso

MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas — Mexican border businessmen fear that the Zika virus could continue to spread in Mexico and end up damaging the already fragile border economy.

Public health officials in this Mexican border city have to coordinate their contingency protocols with their counterparts in Texas to analyze the threat that the Zika could present to the region, said Osvaldo Castillo Hernandez, the president of the National Chamber of Commerce in Matamoros (Matamoros CANACO).

The fear among business leaders in the area is that the number of cases could continue to rise particularly in border areas, which sees a regular influx of travelers. One of the concerns expressed by business leaders is that public health officials will not address the issue accordingly and in a timely manner.

As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, Mexico currently has 37 confirmed cases of Zika with one of those cases being a man from the border city of Reynosa who had recently traveled to Colombia where he was likely infected.

“We can not let our guard down in matters of public health, either with this virus or another one, particularly when the way it spreads is through an insect that has already been linked to the spread of other illnesses,” Castillo said.

The spread of a virus like the Zika could be catastrophic to border regions similar to the economic downturn caused by the H1N1 flu, Castillo said.

“Authorities can not take this matter lightly, they have to respond to the demands being made by the public,” the CANACO leader said as he made a formal request to the Tamaulipas government.

In Tamaulipas, once again, the government claims to have everything under control. However, as we have seen in the past, there have been situations where what was once “under control” has gotten out of control, he said.

“This is a situation where only a rumor of an outbreak can have a catastrophic effect,” Castillo said.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.