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Brain Anomalies incl Congenital News

New Clues to Huge Jump in U.S. Mosquito Population

Posted 2 days 7 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 – New research hints at why the number of mosquitoes has jumped 10-fold in the past 50 years in certain U.S. states: Increased urbanization and shrinking levels of the pesticide DDT in the environment could be major factors. "At first glance, recent increases in mosquito populations appear to be linked to rising temperatures from climate change, but careful analyses of data over the past century show that it's actually recovery from the effects of DDT," said study co-author Marm Kilpatrick. He is an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Still, Kilpatrick said, climate change may be a factor going forward. "On the cold edge of a species' distribution, temperature matters a lot. In Washington, D.C., for example, where Aedes aegypti is not common now, it might become more common if the winters get ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, West Nile Virus, Malaria Prophylaxis, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Another Miami Neighborhood Now Zika-Free

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 – The Little River section of Miami is no longer an area where local Zika infection is active, Florida health officials reported Friday. While Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the development was great news for the state, he also asked residents to continue doing what they can to stop the spread of the mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to devastating birth defects in babies. "It is crucial that everyone remains vigilant and continues to do their part to wear bug spray and dump standing water so we can keep these areas clear, especially for pregnant women and their developing babies," Scott said in a statement. The Florida health department "now believes active transmission of Zika is only occurring in the southern part of Miami Beach, and I hope that local officials will consider every available resource to ensure aggressive mosquito control measures are ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Texas Reports 1st Likely Case of Local Zika Infection

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 28, 2016 – Texas reported its first possible case of locally transmitted Zika infection on Monday. If confirmed, Texas would join Florida as the only states with local transmissions of the mosquito-borne illness linked to birth defects. The case involves a woman who lives in Brownsville, near Mexico, and she had no travel-related risk factors for Zika infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The virus is typically spread through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, although it can also be transmitted through sexual contact. "Even though it is late in the mosquito season, mosquitoes can spread Zika in some areas of the country," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. "Texas is doing the right thing by increasing local surveillance and trapping and testing mosquitoes in the Brownsville area." As of Nov. 23, an estimated ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Zika Babies May Look Normal at Birth, Display Brain Defects Later: CDC

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – Babies exposed to the Zika virus in the womb can look normal at birth but later show signs of the devastating birth defect microcephaly and other brain abnormalities, researchers reported Tuesday. Scientists found that 13 infants in Brazil who were exposed to the mosquito-borne virus during gestation had normal head size as newborns, but subsequently experienced slower head growth. Eleven of these babies were diagnosed with microcephaly – an abnormally small head and brain – and other neurologic complications associated with Zika syndrome, the researchers reported. "Among infants of mothers exposed to Zika virus during pregnancy, the absence of microcephaly at birth does not rule out congenital Zika virus infection or the presence of Zika-related brain abnormalities," according to a news release from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Zika Virus Infection

Zika No Longer 'Global Health Emergency,' WHO Says

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 – Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that can cause severe birth defects in the infants of infected mothers, is no longer a "global health emergency," the United Nation's World Health Organization (WHO) declared Friday. A WHO advisory panel said that while the spread of Zika remains of great importance, it should now be classed with other mosquito-borne maladies such as malaria or yellow fever, The New York Times reported. "We are not downgrading the importance of Zika," Dr. Peter Salama, executive director of the WHO's emergencies program, told the newspaper. "We are sending the message that Zika is here to stay and the WHO response is here to stay." Not everyone agreed with the agency's decision, however. Dr. Anthony Fauci is a renowned virologist and director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He believes it's too early to ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

FDA Scientists Develop Mouse Model for Zika Research

Posted 18 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 – A mouse strain developed by U.S. government scientists could help speed up research into vaccines and treatments for the Zika virus, researchers report. Newborn mice of the new strain created by U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers are susceptible to Zika and develop neurological symptoms within 12 days after infection. But the mice eventually recover from the infection, so they provide an opportunity to study Zika's long-term effects as well as another way to assess experimental vaccines and treatments, the scientists said. "There are many unanswered and essential questions about how the Zika virus works, including the long-term impact," Daniela Verthelyi, chief of the FDA's Laboratory of Immunology, said in an agency news release. "This mouse model gives researchers a new tool to study and understand how the Zika virus replicates and spreads in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Women at Greater Risk Than Men for Zika Infection: Study

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – Women are at greater risk for Zika infection than men, new research in mice suggests. Scientists found the virus appears to trigger a delay in the vagina's immune response. This delay allows the virus to go undetected, putting a fetus at greater risk for infection as well, the Gladstone Institute scientists explained. "Our research supports epidemiological studies showing that women are at a greater risk for Zika infection," senior study author Shomyseh Sanjabi, an assistant investigator at Gladstone, said in a news release from the San Francisco-based research organization. "What's more, the dampened vaginal immune response is especially concerning, because it gives the virus more time to spread to the fetus if a woman is pregnant or becomes pregnant during the course of infection," Sanjabi added. Zika virus is typically spread by the bite of an infected ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Zika Can Survive on Hard Surfaces for Hours

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – It's well known that the Zika virus can be transmitted through mosquito bites or, more rarely, sexual contact. Now, new research raises the prospect that the virus might be able to survive for several hours on hard, nonporous surfaces such as countertops, floors and doorknobs. There's good news, too, however: Common disinfectants are highly effective at killing any Zika that lands on these surfaces, the researchers said. The findings were presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), in San Diego. "Zika can survive on hard, nonporous surfaces for as long as eight hours, possibly longer when the environment contains blood, which is more likely to occur in the real world," said lead researcher S. Steve Zhou in an AAPS news release. He is director of virology and molecular biology at Microbac Laboratories, ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Tracking Blood Sugar in Pregnancy Might Lower Heart Defect Risk for Baby

Posted 14 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 – Increases in a woman's blood sugar levels during early pregnancy may affect her baby's risk of congenital heart defects, a new study suggests. Researchers led by Dr. Emmi Helle of Stanford University in California measured blood sugar levels of more than 19,000 pregnant women during their first trimester. For every 10 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) increase in blood sugar, the risk of delivering a baby with a congenital heart defect rose about 8 percent, the study found. The study couldn't prove cause-and-effect. But, the research team said it's the first study to show a link between a mother's blood sugar levels early in pregnancy and a baby's risk of heart defects. The association between elevated blood sugar in early pregnancy and heart defect risk was greater than the predictive ability of what's known as the "oral glucose tolerance test," Helle's team ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Delivery, Pre-Diabetes, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Gestational Diabetes, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Tdap Vaccine Safe for Mother, Fetus

Posted 1 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 1, 2016 – The Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine is safe for pregnant women who hope to pass their immunity on to their newborns, a new study shows. The vaccine does not appear to cause birth defects or any other major health problems for a developing fetus, according to a review of more than 324,000 live births between 2007 and 2013. "We basically showed there is no association between receiving the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy and these congenital [birth] defects, including microcephaly," said lead researcher Dr. Malini DeSilva. She is a clinical investigator for HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis. The study is part of ongoing efforts to monitor the safety of vaccines, DeSilva said. Her center is part of the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a collaborative project led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that includes health care ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Delivery, Tetanus, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Tetanus Toxoid, Kinrix, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Tetanus Immune Globulin, Boostrix (Tdap), Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed, Tetanus Prophylaxis, HyperTET S/D, Diphtheria Toxoid/Tetanus Toxoid, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Diphtheria Toxoid/Pertussis, Acellular/Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated/Tetanus Toxoid, Pediarix, Decavac, Quadracel, Tetramune

Could Zika Harm Men's Fertility?

Posted 31 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 31, 2016 – The mosquito-borne Zika virus harms the fertility of male mice and human studies are needed to determine if the same is true in men, researchers report. Three weeks after male mice were infected with Zika, their testicles had shrunk, they had lower levels of testosterone, lower sperm counts, and were less likely to be able to impregnate female mice, the scientists found. "While our study was in mice – and with the caveat that we don't yet know whether Zika has the same effect in men – it does suggest that men might face low testosterone levels and low sperm counts after Zika infection, affecting their fertility," said study co-senior author Dr. Michael Diamond. He's a professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. Most of the previous research on Zika has focused on how it affects pregnant women and its link to severe birth defects. That's ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Mouse Study Hints at Damage Zika May Cause to Adult Brain

Posted 25 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 25, 2016 – Certain brain cells in adults may be vulnerable to damage from Zika infection, research with mice suggests. These stem cells replace lost or damaged neurons throughout adulthood. And they are believed to be critical to learning and memory, according to the scientists at The Rockefeller University in New York City and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in California. "This is the first study looking at the effect of Zika infection on the adult brain," said Joseph Gleeson, head of the Laboratory of Pediatric Brain Disease at Rockefeller. "Based on our findings, getting infected with Zika as an adult may not be as innocuous as people think," he said in a La Jolla Institute news release. Another one of the researchers agreed. "Zika can clearly enter the brains of adults and can wreak havoc," said Sujan Shresta, an associate professor of inflammation ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Head Imaging

Zika Testing for All Pregnant Women Who Have Been in Florida County: CDC

Posted 20 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 – U.S. health officials are now recommending that all pregnant women who have recently spent time in any part of Miami-Dade County in Florida be tested for Zika infection. Previously, testing had only been urged for pregnant women who had been in areas of the county where Zika had been spreading locally. This latest advisory extends that recommendation to the entire county and covers the period going back to Aug. 1, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. Reports of local spread of the mosquito-borne virus continue to come in from Miami-Dade County, the CDC said. Florida is the only state to report local transmission of the virus that can cause devastating birth defects. "Zika continues to pose a threat to pregnant women living in or traveling to Miami-Dade County," Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC's ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

New Clues on How Zika Causes Brain Birth Defects

Posted 19 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2016 – New research may shed light on how the Zika virus causes the devastating birth defect known as microcephaly. Microcephaly causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and brains. In this new study, researchers said Zika disrupts fetal brain development by impairing the growth of human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs). These cells normally develop into brain and nervous system cells, the scientists said. The findings could help lead to the development of vaccines and treatments, the study authors said. Results from the study were to be presented Wednesday at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting in Vancouver. "We set out to study why Zika causes microcephaly and related viruses like dengue virus don't," presenting author Feiran Zhang said in a society news release. Zhang is a postdoctoral researcher at Emory University School of Medicine in ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

CDC Updates Spending Plans to Combat Zika

Posted 18 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 18, 2016 – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is earmarking millions of dollars to prepare states and cities for future Zika virus outbreaks, and to track the effects of the virus on the unborn. The CDC will steer $25 million in recently approved funding to states and some cities for Zika preparedness and response efforts, agency Chief Operating Officer Sherri Berger said Tuesday. The agency also plans to provide $70 million to $120 million to state health departments, for use in detecting and tracking the Zika virus, Berger added. In addition, the CDC will provide $10 million for states and cities to develop programs that will track Zika-affected babies born with microcephaly or other related birth defects, she said. The CDC already has ongoing efforts to track Zika-affected births in the United States, which include a Zika pregnancy registry covering ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

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