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Zika-Bearing Mosquitoes More Widespread in U.S. Than Expected

Posted 20 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – The latest buzz from federal health officials is that mosquitoes that can spread Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses are in more counties in the southern United States than previously thought. After a Zika outbreak in Florida last summer, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded mosquito-collection measures across the South. The new study revealed a 21 percent increase in the number of counties with Zika-carrying mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti). There was also a 10 percent increase in counties with dengue-spreading mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus). The results don't mean these mosquitoes are abundant or madly transmitting the viruses. But the "findings highlight the need for continued and improved mosquito surveillance," wrote the team led by Micah Hahn. Hahn is with the CDC's division of vector-borne diseases in Fort Collins, ... Read more

Related support groups: Varicella-Zoster, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection, Varicella-Zoster - Prophylaxis, 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, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever

Why Major Zika Outbreak Is Unlikely in U.S.

Posted 3 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 3, 2017 – The United States' comfortable standard of living makes a large-scale outbreak of Zika virus unlikely, a new scientific paper suggests. Exposure to mosquitoes in the United States is limited by widespread access to clean water, air conditioning, screened doors and windows, and other household amenities that most Americans take for granted, said lead author Max Moreno-Madrinan. He's an assistant professor with Indiana University-Purdue University Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis. Thus, the mosquito-borne Zika virus is not likely to gain a foothold in the United States as it did in Brazil and a host of other Latin American countries, according to Moreno-Madrinan. More than 80,000 people in 69 countries have been infected during an ongoing Zika outbreak that originated in Brazil in 2015. The prevalence of mosquito-transmitted diseases like Zika in ... Read more

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

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