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Sound the Mosquito Alarm, Across the USA

Posted 21 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 21, 2017 – Two species of disease-transmitting mosquitoes could likely flourish in most of the United States, government researchers report. Specifically, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus could survive and reproduce for at least part of the year in three-quarters of the counties in the lower 48 states if introduced there, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These two species can transmit viruses that cause Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The range where Aedes aegypti could survive includes much of the eastern United States south of the Great Lakes, as well as parts of several southwestern states. The range where Aedes albopictus could survive extends farther into the northeast but is more limited in the southwest. The study and accompanying maps were published online Sept. 21 in the Journal of Medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Yellow Fever Prophylaxis, Zika Virus Infection, Diethyltoluamide, Dengue Fever

Zika Mosquito Can Transmit Other Viruses, Too

Posted 19 May 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 19, 2017 – The mosquito species that's the main carrier of the Zika virus might also transmit two other viruses – chikungunya and dengue – in a single bite, researchers report. "A mosquito, in theory, could give you multiple viruses at once," said Claudia Ruckert, a postdoctoral researcher at Colorado State University. The findings about the Aedes aegypti mosquito may help improve understanding of what is called coinfection, which may be fairly common in areas with mosquito-borne disease outbreaks. But, while the researchers found that mosquitoes in the lab can transmit all three viruses at once, they said this is probably extremely rare in nature. "Dual infections in humans, however, are fairly common, or more common than we would have thought," said Ruckert, who specializes in arthropod-borne and infectious diseases. The effects of coinfection are unclear, and there is ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses May Not Be Limited to Tropics

Posted 12 May 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 – Mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika, dengue and chikungunya can be spread in cooler temperatures than previously thought, researchers say. Based on data from Latin America and the Caribbean, transmission of the illnesses is highest at about 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts had long believed that 90 degrees F was their peak-transmission temperature. The findings could prove important as climate change causes temperatures to climb, the study authors said. "This means that future transmission is much more likely to occur in subtropical and even temperate areas, such as the southern United States and northern Mexico," study co-author Jeremy Cohen said in a University of South Florida news release. He is a postdoctoral researcher studying integrative biology at USF. Study co-author Jason Rohr, an associate professor of integrative biology at USF, said the findings could ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever

For a Fun and Safe Tropical Getaway, Plan Ahead

Posted 17 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – If you're planning a tropical getaway, be sure to pack old standbys like bug spray and sunscreen – and maybe a lot more, a doctor advises. "In places like the Caribbean and South and Central America, where it is already summertime, people can potentially be exposed to health risks that they may not have at home," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Christopher Ohl. He is head of the International Travel Clinic at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. In the Caribbean and Central America, you can get sunburned in as little as 10 minutes. Wear sunscreen and a T-shirt or cover-up during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest, Ohl advised in a center news release. Be especially careful on the beach or at poolside where the water reflects sunlight. Also, be careful about what you eat and drink to reduce the risk of diarrhea. Safest ... Read more

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Scientists Create Mosquitoes Resistant to Dengue Virus

Posted 12 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 – Scientists say they have created mosquitoes resistant to the dengue virus, which might eventually help control the spread of the disease in humans. The team at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to boost their natural ability to fight infection by the virus. Mosquitoes get infected when they feed on someone who has the disease. Then they pass dengue to healthy people by biting them. Each year, dengue sickens about 96 million people worldwide. The virus kills more than 20,000 people, mostly children, the researchers said. "If you can replace a natural population of dengue-transmitting mosquitoes with genetically modified ones that are resistant to virus, you can stop disease transmission. This is a first step toward that goal," said study leader George Dimopoulos, a professor of molecular ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Zika Virus Infection, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Dengue Fever

Mosquitoes Can Deliver Zika/Chikungunya Double Whammy

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 – Mosquitoes can infect people with Zika and chikungunya viruses at the same time, new research suggests. And another study found that in addition to Zika virus, two other mosquito-borne viruses – chikungunya and dengue – can also cause severe neurological problems. In the first study, Colorado State University researchers discovered that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can carry Zika and chikungunya viruses at the same time, and can secrete high enough levels of both viruses in their saliva to potentially infect people with both in a single bite. It's the first time this has been confirmed, the researchers said. In the second study, researchers in northeastern Brazil identified severe neurological problems in patients treated during a rare and unprecedented simultaneous outbreak of Zika, chikungunya and dengue in 2015. It was already known that Zika can cause ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever

Another Mosquito-Borne Virus Moves North From the Amazon

Posted 20 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 20, 2016 – Zika, dengue, chikungunya: As if there weren't enough mosquito-borne viruses to worry about, researchers say another has been spotted for the first time in Haiti. Blood test results revealed that an 8-year-old boy living in a rural area of the Caribbean country has contracted Mayaro virus. The infection was diagnosed after the boy developed a fever and belly pain, the researchers said. Mayaro virus, which is related to the chikungunya virus, was first detected in Trinidad in 1954. Since then, most reported outbreaks have been limited to the Amazon, according to the University of Florida research team. "While current attention has been focused on the Zika virus, the finding of yet another mosquito-borne virus which may be starting to circulate in the Caribbean is of concern," said Dr. Glenn Morris, director of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute. "Hopefully we ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Zika Virus Infection

Florida Investigates 2 More Possible Cases of Zika Virus Local Transmission

Posted 28 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 28, 2016 – Florida health officials are investigating two more unexplained cases of Zika infection, bringing to four the number of cases that don't seem to be related to travel to countries where the virus is circulating. This suggests the possibility that local transmission of the mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to severe birth defects has begun, officials said. Zika infection poses significant risks to pregnant women, because it can cause the birth defect called microcephaly, which results in babies born with undersized heads and underdeveloped brains. But, the virus poses little threat to most other people, with about 80 percent of those infected never noticing any symptoms. The four cases are in the South Florida counties of Miami-Dade and Broward. "Evidence is mounting to suggest local transmission via mosquitoes is going on in South Florida," said Tom ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Zika Virus Infection

Zika Virus Was in Haiti Long Before Brazil Outbreak: Study

Posted 29 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 – New research suggests the Zika virus was circulating in Haiti months before Brazil's first cases were reported last spring. "We know that the virus was present in Haiti in December of 2014," said Dr. Glenn Morris, director of University of Florida's Emerging Pathogens Institute. "And, based on molecular studies, it may have been present in Haiti even before that date." What remains unclear is exactly why there was such a widespread outbreak in Brazil, the study authors said, and more research is needed to reveal why the same did not happen in Haiti. In Brazil, Zika infections have been linked to more than 5,000 cases of a birth defect known as microcephaly, in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and brains. To uncover Zika's presence in Haiti, the team of researchers analyzed three "mystery" infections reported in that country in 2014. The cases ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Malaria Prophylaxis, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Zika Virus Infection

Doctors Issue Call to Combat Climate Change

Posted 18 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 18, 2016 – Climate change is already harming people's health by promoting illnesses linked to warmer temperatures and changing weather patterns, a leading group of U.S. doctors says in a new position paper. As a result, the American College of Physicians (ACP) is calling for "aggressive, concerted" action to fight climate change by curbing man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Respiratory illnesses, heat stroke and infectious diseases like Zika virus, dengue fever and cholera are flourishing as global temperatures rise, said Dr. Wayne Riley, president of the college. "Our climate is already changing and people are already being harmed. If we don't begin to address climate change, we're going to see more and more manifestations of these health problems," Riley said. "There is clear, compelling scientific consensus that climate change is real," he added. "There is no dispute." ... Read more

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In Fight Against Zika Virus, Officials Consider Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Posted 16 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2016 – As the Zika virus continues to spread fear and potentially devastating health problems throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, scientists are weighing the use of a controversial weapon – genetically modified mosquitoes. The mosquito-borne Zika virus is thought – but not proven – to be behind an epidemic of birth defects that leave newborns with very small heads and potential brain damage. The spread of the birth defects, called microcephaly, prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) last week to call the Zika outbreak a global emergency. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said it does not expect the Zika virus to become widespread in the United States. But the CDC is recommending that pregnant women avoid those regions of Central and South America and the Caribbean where Zika virus has been identified and officials have described ... Read more

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

WHO: Neurological Disorder on the Rise in Zika Zones

Posted 15 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 – More cases of the rare but potentially devastating neurological disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome are appearing in some Latin American countries where the Zika virus is also present, according to the World Health Organization. The United Nations-affiliated health group said in a weekly report Saturday that Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis, has been reported in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Suriname and Venezuela, the Associated Press reported. But, the WHO added, the "cause of the increase in GBS (Guillain-Barre syndrome) incidence . . . remains unknown, especially as dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus have all been circulating simultaneously in the Americas." According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder that causes the immune system to attack the peripheral nervous system. As a ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Zika Virus Infection, Hemorrhagic Fever

Mosquito-Borne Virus May Cause Fatal Brain Infection

Posted 25 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 – The mosquito-borne virus chikungunya can cause severe and potentially fatal brain infection in some patients, particularly infants and people older than 65, according to a new report. A 2005-2006 chikungunya outbreak on Reunion Island, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, sickened more than 300,000 people. It also provided the first serious demonstration of the virus' ability to cause encephalitis, researchers report online Nov. 25 in the journal Neurology. Americans who contract chikungunya usually acquire the virus while traveling. The first locally transmitted case occurred in Florida in 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate of chikungunya-associated encephalitis in the Reunion Island outbreak outpaced the rate reported in the United States for all encephalitis between 1998 and 2010, researchers found. Prior to ... Read more

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Virus-Carrying Mosquitoes Spreading to New Regions

Posted 6 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 – Mosquitoes typically found in tropical regions are expanding into new areas, including the United States, where they could transmit disease, a new study finds. Once introduced through major shipping routes, mosquitoes carrying viruses such as dengue and chikungunya spread quickly over land, according to the Oxford University researchers. The study findings were published recently in the journal eLife. Using detailed records, including national entomological surveys, the scientists created global distribution maps of two species of dengue- and chikungunya-carrying mosquitoes. "Given the lack of a vaccine or any antiviral treatment for either virus and the debilitating pain they both cause, knowing where the mosquitoes are spreading to and where they might turn up next is crucial for helping to protect communities," study first author Moritz Kraemer, a doctoral ... Read more

Related support groups: Chikungunya Virus Infection

As Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Threaten U.S., Less Money Spent Fighting Them

Posted 11 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 11, 2015 – Diseases spread by mosquitos pose a growing threat to the health of Americans, with the risk at its greatest during these hot summer months. But you wouldn't know that from the amount of money being spent to track West Nile virus, dengue, chikungunya and other illnesses spread by pests like mosquitos, ticks and fleas, a new study reports. Funding has dropped by nearly two-thirds for state and local surveillance programs aimed at preventing insect-borne diseases, according to a report published online June 10 in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. The decrease in funding has led to the partial dismantling of these programs, making it tougher to prevent or respond to outbreaks, said study author Dr. James Hadler, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, in New Haven, Conn. "We can't put out specific information about current or ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus, Chikungunya Virus Infection

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