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WHO: Excessive Air Pollution Affects 92 Percent of People

CLICK HERE - WHO - Ambient air pollution: A global assessment of exposure and burden of disease

CLICK HERE - WHO - News Release - WHO releases country estimates on air pollution exposure and health impact

Associated Press - by Jamey Keaten - September 26, 2016

GENEVA (AP) — More than nine out of 10 people worldwide live in areas with excessive air pollution, contributing to problems like strokes, heart disease and lung cancer, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

The U.N. health agency said in a new report that 92 percent of people live in areas where air quality exceeds WHO limits, with southeast Asia, eastern Mediterranean and western Pacific regions hardest hit.

The country-by-country figures come from new satellite data over rural areas to complement traditional ground measurements of pollution, mostly in cities, in about 3,000 places worldwide.

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Quest Diagnostics Launches Zika Antibody Test Created by CDC

healio.com - September 25, 2016

CLICK HERE - Quest Diagnostics - Zika Virus Infection - Important Testing Information

Quest Diagnostics announced a new antibody test service — based on the Zika immunoglobulin M antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed by the CDC — is available for the detection of infection associated with Zika virus, according to a news release.

The CDC licensed the test to Quest Diagnostics and other national reference laboratories to help combat Zika in the United States. Quest will offer access to Zika virus antibody and molecular laboratory test services through 2,300 service centers for people in the U.S., Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

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PositiveID Successfully Detects the Zika Virus on its Firefly Dx Prototype System

PositiveID uses assay partner GenArraytion's Zika test, the first commercially available multi-plexed PCR-based molecular test to identify dual lineages of the Zika virus

investors.positiveidcorp.com - May 25, 2016

DELRAY BEACH, Fla., May 25, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB:PSID), a life sciences company focused on detection and diagnostics, announced today that it has successfully detected the Zika virus on its Firefly Dx polymerase chain reaction ("PCR") breadboard prototype pathogen detection system ("prototype system"). . .

. . . PositiveID used assay partner GenArraytion, Inc.'s Aedes Aegypti MultiFLEX™ Bioassay test, which targets four genetic regions of the Zika virus, on PositiveID's Firefly Dx prototype system. The Zika virus test works with an existing GenArraytion MultiFLEX™ Bioassay panel that targets viruses that cause dengue fever, yellow fever and Chikungunya, which are also carried by the same mosquito and are known to cause febrile disease in humans.  This test both identifies and discriminates between the Zika African and Brazilian lineages.

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Culex Mosquitoes Do Not Transmit Zika Virus, Kansas State University Study Finds

Culex mosquitoes do not appear to transmit Zika virus, according to research at Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Culex Species Mosquitoes and Zika Virus

k-state.edu - September 22, 2016

A Biosecurity Research Institute study has found important results in the fight against Zika virus: Culex mosquitoes do not appear to transmit Zika virus.

Researchers at Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute studied Culex species mosquitoes from across the country, including Vero Beach in Florida, which is near Miami-Dade County where mosquitoes are spreading Zika virus. 

The research, "Culex species mosquitoes and Zika virus," appears in the journal Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases and involves researchers from Rutgers University, the University of Florida and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Zika: Scientists Warn of Global Microcephaly 'Epidemic' After Study Shows Strong Links to Virus

A baby with microcephaly at a rehabilitation centre in Recife, Brazil.  Reuters: Ueslei Marcelino

CLICK HERE - The Lancet Infectious Diseases - Association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in Brazil, January to May, 2016: preliminary report of a case-control study

abc.net.au - AFP - September 15, 2016

Scientists are warning that the world should prepare for a "global epidemic" of microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby's head is smaller than usual, as the Zika virus spreads to new countries.

Key points:

Researchers say microcephaly epidemic will spread to all countries with Zika

Scientists recommend Zika be added to list of congenital birth infections

Not all study babies with microcephaly had abnormalities show in brain scans

The warning comes after researchers in Brazil and Britain found further evidence to link the condition with Zika virus, a connection already widely accepted in medical circles.

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World Health Organisation Should Outsource Key Duties, Experts Say

         

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical staff tackle Ebola in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. The outbreak killed 11,000 people. Photograph: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

British Medical Journal report advises fundamental overhaul of the WHO to avoid loss of funding, warning it is at risk of repeating mistakes of the Ebola crisis

CLICK HERE - British Medical Journal - Outsourcing: how to reform WHO for the 21st century

theguardian.com - by Harriet Grant - September 12, 2016

Global public health experts have called for “fundamental and extensive reform” of the World Health Organisation (WHO) including major outsourcing of key activities, warning that the organisation is already at risk of repeating the mistakes it made in handling the Ebola crisis.

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What Doctors Learned From 42 Infants With Microcephaly

           

Infants born with microcephaly are held by mothers at a meeting for mothers of children with special needs in Recife, Brazil.  Mario Tama/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - CDC - Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) - Early Growth and Neurologic Outcomes of Infants with Probable Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome

npr.org - by Susan Brink - September 14, 2016

"These babies do not catch up as they grow," says Dr. Antonia Augusto Moura da Silva of the Federal University of Maranhao, Sao Luis, Brazil.

He's describing the findings from a study of 48 babies whose mothers were believed to have been infected with the Zika virus. Forty-two of the children were diagnosed with microcephaly. The study, on the early neurological growth pattern of the infants, will be published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases in November but was released early online.

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As Zika Spreads In Asia, Study Shows Virus May Also Infect Adult Brain Cells

           

A new study demonstrates that Zika can affect adult brain cells in mice, suggesting that the effects of Zika could be bigger than currently presumed. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE - Cell Stem Cell - Zika Virus Infects Neural Progenitors in the Adult Mouse Brain and Alters Proliferation

CLICK HERE - Singapore - Minister of Health (MOH) - Sequencing of Zika Virus Strains From Sims Drive/ Aljunied Crescent Cluster

forbes.com - by Tim Chen - September 12, 2016

As concerns rise over the spread of the Zika virus in Southeast Asia, a new study from the Rockefeller University, published in Cell Stem Cell, found that the virus can also affect adult brain cells in mice — suggesting the potential for Zika to hold long-term neurological implications for adult humans.

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2.6 Billion People Could Be at Risk of Zika, Scientists Say

           

A pest control worker fumigates the grounds of a residential estate in the Bedok North area of Singapore on Sept. 1, 2016.  Roslan Rahman—AFP/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - Potential for Zika virus introduction and transmission in resource-limited countries in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region: a modelling study

time.com - by Maria Cheng - September 1, 2016

Scientists are trying to figure out where Zika might gain a future foothold

(LONDON) — Scientists trying to predict the future path of Zika say that 2.6 billion people living in parts of Asia and Africa could be at risk of infection, based on a new analysis of travel, climate and mosquito patterns in those regions.

Some of the most vulnerable countries include India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh, according to the research. . . .

. . . The study was published online Thursday in the journal, Lancet.

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WHO - Zika Causality Statement - 7 September 2016

                                                  

who.int - 7 September 2016

Zika virus infection: update on the evidence for a causal link to congenital brain abnormalities and Guillain-Barré syndrome

Update of WHO Statement published on 31 March 2016

Since 2013, an unexpected rise in the number of reported cases of the neurological disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome2 (GBS) in French Polynesia, Brazil and other countries in the Americas led specialists to infer a link with an ongoing outbreak of Zika virus infection. Reports of unexpected increases in cases of microcephaly in north-eastern Brazil also led to the suggestion of a link to Zika virus infection in late 2015. On 1 December 2015, PAHO/WHO published an alert regarding the implications for public health of the detection of neurological syndromes and congenital malformations in the context of epidemic transmission of Zika virus in Brazil. On 1 February 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the clusters of cases of microcephaly and neurological disorders occurring in areas with Zika virus transmission constituted a public health emergency of international concern.

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