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Colombia Reports Major Rise in Birth Defect Amid Zika Crisis

CLICK HERE - CDC - MMWR - Preliminary Report of Microcephaly Potentially Associated with Zika Virus Infection During Pregnancy — Colombia, January–November 2016

CLICK HERE - Columbia - INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE SALUD - Zika

nytimes.com - by Donald G. McNeil, Jr. - December 10, 2016

Colombia, which suffered a Zika epidemic that peaked in February, has reported four times as many cases of babies born with microcephaly this year as it did in 2015, providing more proof that the Zika virus causes brain damage in infants.

Because births of microcephalic infants peaked five months after the epidemic did, at about nine times the numbers of the previous July, scientists feel sure that the greatest risk is to babies whose mothers were infected during their first trimesters or early in their second.

The numbers were reported in a study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and conducted jointly by scientists from the C.D.C. and Colombia’s national health institute.

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Zika in Fetal Brain Tissue Responds to a Popular Antibiotic

Infection of developing human brain with the Zika virus (green) highlights susceptibility of radial glial cells during fetal development. Image by Elizabeth Di Lullo

CLICK HERE - STUDY - PNAS - Zika virus cell tropism in the developing human brain and inhibition by azithromycin

ucsf.edu - by Laura Kurtzman - November 29, 2016

Working in the lab, UC San Francisco researchers have identified fetal brain tissue cells that are targeted by the Zika virus and determined that azithromycin, a common antibiotic regarded as safe for use during pregnancy, can prevent the virus from infecting these cells . . .

 . . . In the new study, published online Nov. 29, 2016, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the UCSF researchers determined that the Zika virus preferentially infects brain cells with an abundance of a protein called AXL, which spans the outer cell membrane of several cell types and serves as a gateway for the invading virus . . . 

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Texas Reports First Case of Zika Spread by Local Mosquitoes

                                                                  

CLICK HERE - Texas Department of State Health Services - Texas Announces Local Zika Virus Case in Rio Grande Valley

reuters.com - by Julie Steenhuysen - November 28, 2016

Texas health officials on Monday reported the state's first case of Zika likely spread by local mosquitoes, making Texas the second state within the continental United States to report local transmission of the virus that has been linked to birth defects.

The case involved a woman living in Cameron County near the Mexico border who is not pregnant, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

Pregnancy is the biggest concern with Zika because the virus can cause severe, life-long birth defects, including microcephaly, in which a child is born with an abnormally small head, a sign its brain has stopped growing normally . . .

 . . . In adults, Zika infections have also been linked to a rare neurological syndrome known as Guillain-Barre, as well as other neurological disorders.

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Microcephaly Found in Babies of Zika-Infected Mothers Months After Birth

           

A 1-year-old child, one of the patients in a new study, showed clear signs of microcephaly, but also had good eye contact. Credit van der Linden V, Pessoa A, et al. MMWR: 11.22.2016

nytimes.com - by Pam Belluck - November 22, 2016

It is the news that doctors and families in the heart of Zika territory had feared: Some babies not born with the unusually small heads that are the most severe hallmark of brain damage as a result of the virus have developed the condition, called microcephaly, as they have grown older.

The findings were reported in a study of 13 babies in Brazil that was published Tuesday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. At birth, none of the babies had heads small enough to receive a diagnosis of microcephaly, but months later, 11 of them did . . . 

 . . . The new study echoes another published this fall, in which three babies were found to have microcephaly later in their first year.

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Zika Virus Can Live for Hours on Hard, Non-Porous Surfaces

           

Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of Zika virus. Credit: Cynthia Goldsmith/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

sciencedaily.com - American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists - November 15, 2016

Research being presented today at the 2016 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientist (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition, which is taking place Nov. 13 -17 in Denver, found that under certain conditions, the Zika virus can live for several hours on hard non-porous surfaces and still be highly contagious, but that some commonly used disinfectants are extremely effective in killing the virus. The research may have important infection control implications for both consumers and those who work in healthcare or lab settings.

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Antibody Might Protect Fetus From Zika, Study Finds

           

A researcher holds a tray of Zika virus growing in cells at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. No treatments exist to block Zika virus in a pregnant woman from infecting her fetus and potentially causing severe birth defects. But now, researchers report that they have identified a human antibody that prevents -- in pregnant mice -- the fetus from becoming infected and damage to the placenta. The antibody also protects adult mice from Zika disease.  Photo: Huy Mach

CLICK HERE - Nature - Neutralizing human antibodies prevent Zika virus replication and fetal disease in mice

nbcnews.com - by Maggie Fox - November 7, 2016

Researchers reported two steps toward fighting the Zika virus Monday — one from a team that has found a potential way to protect unborn babies from the virus, and a second from a team that announced the start of human trials of a new vaccine.

Neither offers immediate relief against the epidemic of Zika that has swept across the Americas and the Caribbean and parts of Asia, but they both provide hope of eventually being able to protect pregnant women and their babies from the infection.

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Vaccinating Against Dengue May Increase Zika Outbreaks

Mosquito vector Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Credit: NIAID

CLICK HERE - Implication of vaccination against dengue for Zika outbreak

yfile.news.yorku.ca - October 31, 2016

Vaccinating against dengue fever could increase outbreaks of Zika, suggests new research out of York University and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China.

The research identifies a potentially serious public health concern. More than a third of the world’s population lives in areas where dengue is endemic and cases of co-infection with Zika have already been reported.

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New Case Emerging for Culex Mosquito as Unexpected Zika Spreader

Early data from new lab tests reopen question of non-Aedes vectors

           

SPREADING NEWS  The controversial idea that a Culex mosquito (shown) can spread Zika is getting some reconsideration as new data are emerging from separate labs.

sciencenews.org - by Susan Milius - September 28, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. — New evidence from separate labs supports the controversial idea that an overlooked and unexpected Culex mosquito might spread Zika virus.

The southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, is common in the Americas. Constância Ayres, working with Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Recife, previously surprised Zika researchers with the disturbing proposal that this mosquito might be a stealth spreader of Zika. But two U.S. research groups tested the basic idea and couldn’t get the virus to infect the species.

Now, preliminary results from Ayres’ and two other research groups are renewing the discussion.

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Congress Approves $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika

After nearly seven months of bickering and finger-pointing, Congress on Wednesday agreed to allocate $1.1 billion to help fight the spread and effects of the Zika virus.

The deal is part of a broader agreement to continue to fund the government after the fiscal year ends on Friday and the current budget expires.

It brings to an end a partisan fight that has had the unusual effect of delaying funding to deal with what all sides agree is a public health emergency.

Congress Stops Bickering And Approves $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/09/28/495806979/congress-ends-spat-over-zika-funding-approves-1-1-billion?utm_term=nprnews

Congress passes funding bill averting government shutdown
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-idUSKCN11Y1MJ

Congress clears stopgap spending bill, $1.1B to fight Zika
http://unb.com.bd/article/congress-clears-stopgap-spending-bill-dollar11b-to-fight-zika

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1st Case Of Locally-Acquired Dengue Reported In Miami-Dade County

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the Zika virus and dengue. Andre Penner / AP

submitted by Albert Gomez

miami.cbslocal.com - by Giovanna Maselli - September 28, 2016

Florida health officials have confirmed the first case of locally acquired Dengue fever in Miami-Dade County.

The infection is primarily spread through bites of infected mosquitoes.

The person infected with the virus has already received medical treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.

Health officials are investigating close contacts around the person to make sure more people are not infected. . . .

. . . This is the second case of locally acquired Dengue in Florida this year but this is the first case for Miami-Dade County.

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CLICK HERE - SunSentinel - Health officials confirm case of dengue fever in Miami-Dade

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