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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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The Coming Trials of Generation Zika

           

An Aedes aegypti mosquito. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

We may see an increase in the incidence of mental illness, Parkinson’s and dementia.

wsj.com - by W. Ian Lipkin - September 6, 2016

Some four million children are born each year in the U.S., about half in areas where the mosquito species capable of carrying the Zika virus is found. If we assume that 3% of pregnant women in the U.S. will become infected over the next three years and at least 1% of children born to those mothers will be microcephalic, we can anticipate up to 20,000 microcephalic children. Humanitarian considerations aside, the estimated cost of caring for one such child over the course of his lifespan is $10 million.

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CLICK HERE - The White House - Letter From The President - Zika Virus - February 22, 2016

 

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Zika’s Persistence in the Eye May Play a Role in Spreading the Virus, Study Finds

           

Daniele Santos holds her baby Juan Pedro, who has microcephaly, on May 30 in Recife, Brazil. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE - Cell Reports - Zika Virus Infection in Mice Causes Panuveitis with Shedding of Virus in Tears

washingtonpost.com - by Lena H. Sun - September 6, 2016

Researchers have found that the Zika virus can live in eyes, and research in mice may help explain why some Zika patients develop eye disease, including a condition that can lead to permanent vision loss.

In a study published Tuesday in Cell Reports, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis describe the effect of Zika virus infections in the eyes of mouse fetuses, newborns and adults.

The study suggests that the eye could be a reservoir for the virus. Eye infection raises the possibility that people could become infected with Zika through contact with tears from infected people, they said.

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WHO Continues Zika Emergency Amid Virus Spread, Unanswered Questions

cidrap.umn.edu - by Lisa Schnirring  - September 2, 2016

WHO panel cites virus spread, research gaps
CLICK HERE - WHO - Fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) regarding microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus 

CDC funds for microcephaly, birth defects
CLICK HERE - CDC awards $2.4 million to five jurisdictions to fight Zika

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that its Zika emergency committee, which met yesterday, has recommended keeping the public health emergency in place, as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced $2.4 million in funding to help five of the nation's most populated cities detect and manage Zika-related birth defects.

CDC-Colombia effort, Singapore cases, brain cell infection
In other new Zika developments, the CDC announced a formal research collaboration with Colombia, Singapore reported more Zika cases, and researchers revealed possible differences in brain cell infections between the two Zika lineages.

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Study Finds Increase in Temporary Paralysis Accompanied Zika Outbreaks

           

Zulay Balza, right, recovering from Guillain-Barre syndrome in February at a hospital in Colombia. Ms. Balza did not show symptoms of the Zika virus; only one in five infected people do. Credit Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

CLICK HERE - NEJM - Zika Virus and the Guillain–Barré Syndrome — Case Series from Seven Countries

nytimes.com - by Catherine Saint Louis - August 31, 2016

In seven countries that recently experienced Zika outbreaks, there were also sharp increases in the numbers of people suffering from a form of temporary paralysis, researchers reported Wednesday.

The analysis, published online in The New England Journal of Medicine, adds to substantial evidence that Zika infections — even asymptomatic ones — may bring on a paralysis called Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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FSU Research Team Makes Zika Drug Breakthrough

submitted by Albert Gomez

           

Doctoral students Emily Lee, Yichen Cheng and Sarah Ogden played a key role in conducting Zika research in Professor Hengli Tang’s laboratory.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Nature Medicine - Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of Zika virus infection and induced neural cell death via a drug repurposing screen

news.fsu.edu - by Kathleen Haughney - August 29, 2016

A team of researchers from Florida State University, Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health has found existing drug compounds that can both stop Zika from replicating in the body and from damaging the crucial fetal brain cells that lead to birth defects in newborns.

One of the drugs is already on the market as a treatment for tapeworm. . . .

. . . Their work is outlined in an article published Monday by Nature Medicine.

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FDA Recommends Screening All Blood Donations for Zika

         

fda.gov - August 26, 2016

As a further safety measure against the emerging Zika virus outbreak, today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a revised guidance recommending universal testing of donated Whole Blood and blood components for Zika virus in the U.S. and its territories.

“There is still much uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of Zika virus transmission,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “At this time, the recommendation for testing the entire blood supply will help ensure that safe blood is available for all individuals who might need transfusion.”

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Can Zika Virus Damage an Infected Infant’s Brain After Birth?

           

Dr. Angela Rocha shows brain scans of a baby born with microcephaly at the Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in Recife, Brazil.  FELIPE DANA/AP

CLICK HERE - NEJM - Prolonged Shedding of Zika Virus Associated with Congenital Infection

CLICK HERE - Radiology - Congenital Brain Abnormalities and Zika Virus: What the Radiologist Can Expect to See Prenatally and Postnatally

statnews.com - by Helen Branswell - August 24, 2016

A new report from Brazil raises questions about whether the Zika virus can continue to damage an infected infant’s brain after birth.

An infant in Sao Paulo whose mother was infected late in her second trimester was born without any visible birth defects. But testing showed the baby had the Zika virus in his blood; the virus remained in his system for at least a couple of months.

At six months, it became apparent that the child had suffered Zika-related brain damage.

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How Likely Are You To Deal With A Zika Outbreak? Check This Map

huffingtonpost.com - August 15th 2016 - Anna Almendrala

Now that Zika virus is spreading locally in Florida, U.S. residents, and especially pregnant women, are growing alarmed at the risk that they may face in their own communities. 

A new map estimating the risk of local Zika spread around the globe shows a relatively small likelihood that most of North America and Northern Asia will be affected. By contrast, all the variables are in place for local spread in most of Africa, South and Southeast Asia. 

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