Jill and Derick Dillard, Israel Dillard
As we announced earlier this month, Jill and Derick Dillard have been commissioned to serve with S.O.S. Ministries in Central America. The Dillards spent autumn studying Spanish at a language school in Guatemala in preparation for their entry into the mission field.
If you follow the news, you are probably familiar with the Zika virus outbreak. Zika virus was first reported in South America in May 2015 and spread to Central America in November.
Unfortunately, the three Central American countries in which S.O.S. teams are currently working--El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras--are now experiencing ongoing transmission of Zika.
|The Dillard family|
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only one in five people infected with Zika experience symptoms--which can include fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes).
The virus is primarily transmitted through the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes, which means that using bug spray and mosquito nets will go a long way in containing the outbreak.
If the symptoms are mild, why is Zika such a hot topic in the news this month? The CDC reports that the virus, which can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby, has caused serious birth complications and brain defects.
Expectant mothers are encouraged to postpone travel to regions infected with Zika. Some countries have asked female residents to delay becoming pregnant, with El Salvador going so far as to advise women to wait up to two years to conceive.
For the time being, Jill and Derick Dillard wish to keep their location confidential, but please keep their little family, as well as others in Central and South America, in your prayers as they serve in regions where Zika is present.
Photos courtesy dillardfamily.com