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Another Miami Neighborhood Now Zika-Free

Posted 2 days ago by

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

First Case of Zika-Linked Glaucoma Diagnosed in Infant

Posted 4 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2016 – The first case of an infant who developed glaucoma after being exposed to the Zika virus while in the womb has been reported by an international team of researchers. No previous cases have seen a link between Zika infection and glaucoma, a condition that can permanently damage the optic nerve and result in blindness, the researchers said. But other vision problems and devastating brain defects have surfaced in babies born to mothers who were infected with Zika while pregnant. "We identified the first case where Zika virus appears to have affected the development of the anterior chamber, or front portion, of the eye during gestation and caused glaucoma after birth," study co-author Dr. Albert Icksang Ko said in a statement. He is a professor at the Yale School of Public Health, in New Haven, Conn. Ko has been working with doctors in Brazil since the Zika ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Texas Reports 1st Likely Case of Local Zika Infection

Posted 6 days ago by

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 No Longer 'Global Health Emergency,' WHO Says

Posted 14 days ago by

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

Women at Greater Risk Than Men for Zika Infection: Study

Posted 18 days ago by

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 19 days ago by

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, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Mosquitoes Can Deliver Zika/Chikungunya Double Whammy

Posted 20 days ago by

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

West Nile's Long-Term Death Toll May Be Higher Than Thought

Posted 20 days ago by

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 – A new study suggests that the death toll from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus might be much greater than thought because its effects may often kill people months or years after infection. "We are hoping our research findings will help encourage a push to develop a vaccine that can help prevent disease and premature death," said study co-author Dr. Kristy Murray, an associate professor with National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "At this time, the only way people can prevent the disease is protecting themselves from mosquito bites, which can sometimes be difficult to do." According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 44,000 people have been diagnosed with West Nile virus disease since 1999, and many more cases weren't picked up by surveillance. While most infected people don't get sick, an ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites

Tropical Bedbugs Creeping Back to Florida

Posted 11 Nov 2016 by

FRIDAY, Nov. 11, 2016 – There's more reason for Floridians to check their sofas and mattresses: Tropical bedbugs have been confirmed in the state for the first time in at least 60 years, scientists report. There has already been a resurgence of common bedbugs. This discovery suggests the same thing may be occurring with tropical bedbugs. These bugs were last confirmed in Florida in the 1930s and 1940s, researchers said. The tropical bedbugs were found in a home in Brevard County, according to researchers from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. They reported their findings in the journal Florida Entomologist. So far, this is the only confirmed case of tropical bedbugs in Florida, but the scientists think these bugs are present in other parts of Florida and other Southern states. "I personally believe that in Florida, we have all of the right ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites

American Homes Double as Bug Retreats

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2016 – Here's a new finding that suggests no amount of housecleaning will turn your home into a bug-free oasis: More than 600 types of insects, spiders and centipedes live in most American homes. Researchers arrived at that startling number after analyzing bug DNA in dust samples collected from more than 700 homes across the continental United States. Study participants swabbed some dust from the top of a doorway inside their house or apartment. The sealed swab was sent to the researchers, who then used DNA analysis to identify every genus of bug DNA found in the samples. "That's an incredible range of diversity from just a tiny swab of house dust," said study author Anne Madden, a postdoctoral researcher at North Carolina State University. The investigators did find a greater diversity of bugs in rural homes, those with basements and those with cats or dogs. "Greater ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Insect Bites

Could Zika Harm Men's Fertility?

Posted 31 Oct 2016 by

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

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, Diagnosis and Investigation, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Head Imaging

Study: El Nino Could Boost Lyme Disease in Western U.S.

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – The big shifts in rain and warmth caused by El Nino and La Nina conditions may boost Lyme disease and intestinal infections in parts of the United States, a new study suggests. Over four decades, more tick-borne disease in the West and more gastrointestinal disease in the Northeast were tied to the periodic swings in weather conditions, researchers said. They believe the findings provide insight into potential effects of climate change. "There are important links between the environment and infectious disease risk, not only in low-income countries, like places with a lot of malaria, but in high-income countries like the U.S. and Canada, too," said study lead author Dr. David Fisman. He's a professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health. "Hopefully, people will understand that environmental change can impact their ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Lyme Disease - Neurologic, Insect Bites, Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans, Lyme Disease - Carditis

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

Posted 20 Oct 2016 by

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

New Clues on How Zika Causes Brain Birth Defects

Posted 19 Oct 2016 by

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

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