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Zika Arrived in Florida at Least Four Different Ways

Posted 14 minutes ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 24, 2017 – The 2016 Zika outbreak in Florida wasn't due to a single introduction and spread of the virus, but rather at least four separate events, researchers report. By analyzing the genetic material of Zika viruses found in people and mosquitoes in Florida, the scientists also concluded that local transmission of the Zika virus likely began in spring 2016 before the first local case was confirmed. The researchers said they also discovered that three of the Zika strains that affected Florida spread through the Caribbean islands first before reaching the state. The fourth spread through Central America, the study authors said. Based on their findings, the researchers believe that a similar Zika transmission pattern could happen again this year in Florida. There are a number of reasons why Florida is a likely hotspot for Zika outbreaks in the United States, study ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Keep Fleas Out of Your Home

Posted 21 hours ago by Drugs.com

-- If Fido or Fluffy have an unwelcome band of fleas on them, there are things you can do to control the problem. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests: Vacuum your home each day. Steam clean carpets, especially places where pets sleep, to kill fleas and flea eggs. Every two or three weeks, wash all family and pet bedding in hot, soapy water. Throw away and replace bedding if there's a severe infestation. Brush pets with a flea comb, particularly around the neck and tail. Dip the comb and any fleas you find in a bowl of soapy, hot water Keep pets indoors more often. Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites

Zika Mosquito Can Transmit Other Viruses, Too

Posted 5 days ago 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 days ago 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

Coming This Summer: More Ticks and a Deadly New Tick-Borne Disease

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 11, 2017 – Scientists have a double-shot of bad news about ticks: There's a new, and potentially fatal, tick-borne illness called Powassan, and this summer looks like it might be one of the worst on record for an increase in the tick population. "Tick-borne diseases are on the rise, and prevention should be on everyone's mind, particularly during the spring and summer, and early fall when ticks are most active," said Rebecca Eisen. She is a research biologist in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's division of vector-borne diseases. Laura Goodman, a senior research associate in population medicine and diagnostic sciences at Cornell University, concurred. "It's going to be a bad season," she said. Approximately 75 cases of Powassan disease were reported in the United States over the past 10 years. Most cases have occurred in the Northeast and Great Lakes ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Tick-Borne Encephalitis Vaccination

Epilepsy: Another Potential Zika Threat to Babies

Posted 17 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – Beyond its known links to birth defects and other problems, the Zika virus may also trigger cases of epilepsy in infants, warn experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among 48 babies from Brazil with probable congenital Zika infection, "50 percent reportedly had clinical seizures," said Dr. Daniel Pastula, Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp and Rosemarie Kobau. All three have studied Zika at the CDC, and co-wrote an essay on the Zika-epilepsy connection, published online April 17 in JAMA Neurology. The Zika virus is transmitted via mosquito bites, and its most devastating effects occur when pregnant women are infected. In those cases, Zika can trigger severe neurological birth defects such as microcephaly, where infants are born with underdeveloped skulls and brains. Thousands of such cases have occurred in South America, most notably in ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Seizure Prophylaxis, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Don't Let Bugs Dampen Your Outdoor Fun

Posted 17 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, April 15, 2017 – If you've spent any time outdoors recently, you may have found yourself swatting away a fly or mosquito – and that means it's time to bone up on bug avoidance. "Although most bug bites are harmless, some can spread dangerous diseases like Zika virus, dengue, Lyme disease and malaria," said Dr. Lindsay Strowd, an assistant professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. "Particularly if you're visiting areas with known insect-borne diseases, it's important to take steps to reduce your risk," Strowd said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release. Here are Strowd's tips to avoid unwanted bites. Your best defense against insect bites is to cover yourself – with bug spray and clothes. Apply insect repellent with 20 to 30 percent DEET. If you're also wearing sunscreen, apply your sunscreen first, let it dry, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Benadryl, Acetaminophen, Advil, Hydroxyzine, Zyrtec, Promethazine, Claritin, Loratadine, Allegra, Diphenhydramine, Paracetamol, Phenergan, Motrin, Fioricet

Another Type of Mosquito May Carry Zika

Posted 15 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 – Traces of Zika virus genetic material have been found in a second mosquito species, researchers report. The main carrier of Zika is the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). But researchers have now found fragments of Zika RNA during genetic testing of Asian tiger mosquitoes collected in Brazil. This doesn't prove that the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can transmit Zika to people. But it does emphasize the need for further research into other possible carriers of Zika, according to study author Chelsea Smartt. She's an associate professor from the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory at the University of Florida, in Vero Beach. "Our results mean that Aedes albopictus may have a role in Zika virus transmission and should be of concern to public health," Smartt said in a news release from the Entomological Society of America. "This mosquito is found ... Read more

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

Don't Let Ticks Get Under Your Skin

Posted 13 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 13, 2017 – Just like people, ticks get more active as the weather gets warmer. So be sure to take steps to protect yourself against picking up an eight-legged hitchhiker when you're outdoors. "From now on until next winter what you should do is, when you go out – especially if you are going to walk a pet or go out for a hike anywhere where there is a little bit of vegetation – you want to have long pants and closed shoes," said Kateryn Rochon, an entomologist at the University of Manitoba in Canada. Use insect repellents with DEET when walking in fields and wooded areas, she advised. And, since no method of preventing ticks is foolproof, check yourself, your kids and your pets for ticks after being outdoors. Sometimes ticks only look like black sesame seeds, Rochon said. If you find one that isn't attached, quickly remove it before it has a chance to latch on. "If ... Read more

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

Not All Mosquitoes Need Standing Water to Breed: Study

Posted 12 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 – The standard wisdom on curbing mosquitoes is to eliminate pools of standing water where they might breed. But new research on a major family of mosquito species finds that may not always be enough. The study, by a team at the University of Florida, found that most species within the Culex family lay their eggs in more varied locations than just "floating egg rafts," as was previously thought. In the study, Culex mosquitoes were placed in screened cages with dishes containing both standing water and partially submerged objects, such as a terra cotta pot or segments of mangrove roots. The researchers were surprised to find that most of the mosquitoes' "egg clusters" were laid on the dry surfaces of the terra cotta and roots – not on the surface of the water. This suggests that the "generalized floating egg raft strategy does not apply to the vast majority of ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection

Bedbugs Building Resistance to More Insecticides

Posted 10 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 – The bedbugs are winning. Some bedbugs are showing early signs of resistance to two widely used insecticides, Purdue University researchers report. As a result, the researchers urge pest management companies to use a "well-rounded" set of control measures when dealing with the parasitic insects. "In the past, bedbugs have repeatedly shown the ability to develop resistance to products overly relied upon for their control," said study author Ameya Gondhalekar, a research assistant professor at Purdue's Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management. "The findings also show similar trends in regard to chlorfenapyr and bifenthrin resistance development in bedbugs," Gondhalekar said in a news release from the Entomological Society of America. Previously, common bedbugs were found to have significant resistance to deltamethrin and some other pyrethroid-class ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites

U.S. Blood Supply Safe From Zika Virus, Officials Say

Posted 7 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 – U.S. blood banks are confident they have the tools to protect America's blood supply from possible new Zika virus outbreaks during the upcoming mosquito season. A transfusion of Zika-tainted blood can pass the virus to an unsuspecting recipient, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But sophisticated genetic tests and blood processing procedures make it highly unlikely that anyone will contract Zika from donated blood, according to a series of articles in a special issue of the journal Transfusion. Every blood donation in the United States undergoes testing for the presence of Zika virus, based on guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said Susan Stramer, vice president of scientific affairs for the American Red Cross. About 40 U.S. donations have tested positive for Zika since screening began, mostly in Florida, Stramer ... Read more

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

Birth Defects Strike 1 in 10 U.S. Pregnancies Affected by Zika

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 4, 2017 – One in 10 pregnant U.S. women with confirmed Zika infection in 2016 had a baby with virus-related birth defects, federal health officials reported Tuesday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year received reports from 44 states of nearly 1,300 expecting mothers with possible Zika infection. In most cases, Zika was acquired during travel abroad to an area with active transmission of the mosquito-borne virus. Lab tests confirmed Zika infection in 250 of the women. Of those, 24 completed their pregnancy with a fetus or baby that suffered birth defects linked to the virus, the CDC said. The new report "confirms the now indisputable evidence that Zika has a great capacity to cause birth defects, especially in the first trimester," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an affiliated scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. "Among ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Bed Bugs' Ancestors Were Creeping Near People 11,000 Years Ago

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 4, 2017 – Bed bugs have been making other creatures' lives miserable a long time – scientists report they've found the oldest known remains of relatives of bed bugs in a cave in southern Oregon. The specimens of three species from the genus Cimex are between 5,100 and 11,000 years old, the researchers said. They were found in a cave near Paisley, Ore. – the site of some of the oldest known evidence of human activity in North America. Previously, the oldest known Cimex remains were 3,500 years old. They were found in Egypt in 1999. The newly discovered remains are "not the bed bug we all know and love from hotel rooms," study co-author Martin Adams, of Paleoinsect Research, said in a news release from the Entomological Society of America. The three species found in the Paisley Five Mile Point Caves are all thought to be parasites of bats, he explained. The two bed bug ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites

Cases of Zika-Linked Birth Defects Dropped in Brazil in 2016

Posted 29 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – Brazil experienced a smaller-than-expected increase in cases of microcephaly in 2016, despite the continued spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Researchers predicted 1,133 cases of microcephaly would occur between May and December 2016, but only 83 cases were reported by local health officials, said senior researcher Christopher Dye. He is director of strategy, policy and information for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Zika causes microcephaly, a birth defect where babies are born with abnormally small skulls and underdeveloped brains. Brazil served as the epicenter of the 2015 Zika outbreak in South America, and it was the country that endured the highest rates of microcephaly and other Zika-related neurological birth defects that year. Zika reemerged in Brazil early in 2016, and so researchers expected more cases of microcephaly ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

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