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Bio-Engineered Mosquitoes to be Released In U.S.

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

Bio-engineered mosquitoes will be released in many parts of the United States next year in an attempt to reduce wild populations of mosquitoes that can transmit diseases such as Zika, yellow fever and Dengue fever. The lab-grown male Asian Tiger mosquitoes are infected with bacteria that prevents reproduction, but does not pose a risk to other insects or animals, according to Kentucky-based MosquitoMate, US News & World Report said. The release of the bio-engineered mosquitoes in 20 states and Washington, D.C. was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency on Nov. 3 and the program will start next summer, according to a report in the journal Nature. Release of the mosquitoes was not approved in much of the southeastern U.S. because MosquitoMate has not yet performed field trials there. The company recently completed a successful trial in Florida and plans to submit an application ... Read more

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

Treeless Tropics, More Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes?

Posted 2 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2017 – Deforestation doesn't just strip the landscape. In tropical regions, it may also lead to more disease-carrying mosquitoes, University of Florida researchers say. "Converting pristine tropical forests into areas for agriculture or other uses creates a habitat for the mosquitoes that transmit human diseases," lead study author Nathan Burkett-Cadena said in a university news release. He's an assistant professor of entomology. The scientists don't say why those mosquitoes might thrive without extensive tree coverage, but they note that deforested areas are warmer and drier than similar pristine forests. For their report, the researchers analyzed 17 studies from around the world. They found a strong link between deforestation in tropical habitats and higher concentrations of mosquitoes that carry diseases transmittable to people. Almost 57 percent of mosquito ... Read more

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

Rapid, Easy Zika Test Developed

Posted 27 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – A new fast, easy and cheap "dipstick" test for the Zika and dengue viruses could revolutionize public health response to dangerous tropical germs, a new study reports. The test accurately diagnoses Zika and dengue and can tell the two mosquito-borne viruses apart, an area in which commercially available tests now stumble, said senior researcher Lee Gehrke, a professor with the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science. "In light of the problems with Zika virus causing microcephaly [a genetic abnormality resulting in a smaller-than-normal head] and other defects in babies born to infected mothers, it's very important a pregnant woman would know if her fever is caused by Zika virus or dengue virus," said Gehrke, who's also a professor at Harvard Medical School. The new test resembles a pregnancy test strip, Gehrke noted. The strip contains antibodies ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever

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, Yellow Fever Prophylaxis, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Zika Virus Infection, Diethyltoluamide, Dengue Fever

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

Related support groups: Plan B, Provera, Nexplanon, Depo-Provera, Mirena, NuvaRing, Sprintec, Implanon, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Tri-Sprintec, Yasmin, Plan B One-Step, Loestrin 24 Fe, Ortho Evra, Lutera, TriNessa, Mononessa, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, Yaz

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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