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Viral Infection News

Florida Now Zika-Free

Posted 18 hours ago by

FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 – Florida is now Zika-free, U.S. health officials reported Friday. One area in south Miami Beach had remained an active zone for local transmission of the virus, which can cause severe birth defects in babies born to women who are infected while pregnant. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement that there have been no new cases of local Zika transmission in South Miami Beach for more than 45 days, so that neighborhood is no longer considered an active zone. "Florida's rapid response and comprehensive mosquito control program has allowed them to interrupt Zika transmission, but we must stay vigilant and also take what we have learned and be prepared for next season," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in the statement. And he added a caveat. "Pregnant women who live or have been to this area should continue to be evaluated for Zika ... Read more

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

Best Way to Beat Back Zika a Matter of Debate

Posted 2 days 18 hours ago by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 – A new analysis questions the effectiveness of different methods for controlling the mosquitoes that can transmit Zika and other diseases. The researchers, from the University of East Anglia in England, reviewed evidence about chemical controls, such as pesticides and larvicides, and biological controls, such as placing mosquito larvae-eating crustaceans or fish in standing water containers. Biological controls did appear to reduce numbers of disease-carrying mosquitoes more than chemicals, but the quality of evidence was often poor, the research team noted. Some studies showed that chemical controls slashed mosquito numbers by up to 76 percent, while others found no significant reduction. Also, the overall results of the studies were weak, the researchers added. They found little evidence that chemical spraying around homes was effective, and any reductions in ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection

New Clues to Huge Jump in U.S. Mosquito Population

Posted 4 days ago by

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 – New research hints at why the number of mosquitoes has jumped 10-fold in the past 50 years in certain U.S. states: Increased urbanization and shrinking levels of the pesticide DDT in the environment could be major factors. "At first glance, recent increases in mosquito populations appear to be linked to rising temperatures from climate change, but careful analyses of data over the past century show that it's actually recovery from the effects of DDT," said study co-author Marm Kilpatrick. He is an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Still, Kilpatrick said, climate change may be a factor going forward. "On the cold edge of a species' distribution, temperature matters a lot. In Washington, D.C., for example, where Aedes aegypti is not common now, it might become more common if the winters get ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Malaria Prophylaxis, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

U.S. Doctors Still Over-Prescribing Drugs: Survey

Posted 4 days ago by

MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2016 – Despite evidence that certain drugs aren't always necessary, doctors are still prescribing these treatments, a new survey of doctors reveals. Antibiotics are by far the drugs most frequently used in situations where they'll provide no value for patients. The survey found that more than a quarter of doctors surveyed (27 percent) said that antibiotics are often administered to patients when the drugs will do no good. In most cases, the antibiotics are prescribed to treat upper respiratory infections even though these are most often caused by viruses unaffected by the medication, said Dr. Amir Qaseem. He's vice president of clinical policy for the American College of Physicians (ACP) and chair of the ACP's High Value Care Task Force. Other treatments that doctors use frequently despite their questionable value include aggressive treatments for terminally ill ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Viral Infection

Another Miami Neighborhood Now Zika-Free

Posted 8 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: Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

A Dirty Little Secret: Hand-Washing Spotty Among Day Care Staffers

Posted 9 days ago by

THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2016 – Too few child care workers follow hand-washing guidelines, a new study suggests. University of Arkansas researchers used video cameras to record the hand-washing habits of adults at an early childhood center in the state. Overall, only 22 percent of the adults followed proper hand-washing procedures before and/or after tasks such as wiping noses, emptying garbage cans, preparing food, and changing diapers, the study found. Hand-washing rates were 30 percent among caregivers, 11 percent among paraprofessional aides and just 4 percent among parents at the facility, according to the study. The study results were published in the December issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. "Hand-washing is an important component of reducing illness transmission among children in early childhood centers, especially for the adults in charge of their care," said study ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Viral Infection

First Case of Zika-Linked Glaucoma Diagnosed in Infant

Posted 10 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

Health Tip: Get the Facts About Antibiotics

Posted 11 days ago by

-- Antibiotics aren't always what you or your child needs to get well. The American Academy of Pediatrics explains: An antibiotic will not help the common cold, which is caused by a virus. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, not those caused by viruses or other germs. Overuse of an antibiotic could lead to bacteria that becomes resistant to that medication. That's why an antibiotic should never be used unless necessary. An antibiotic could cause mild side effects, such as diarrhea. Green or yellow mucus can signal a viral infection or a bacterial infection. Symptoms lasting longer than 10 days accompanied by fever may mean a bacterial infection. Not all ear infections need an antibiotic. Many will go away without treatment. Ask your doctor about this. Most sore throats are caused by a virus, but strep throat does need an antibiotic. An antibiotic usually starts working within ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Diarrhea, Bacterial Infection, Otitis Media, Sore Throat, Viral Infection, Diarrhea, Acute

Texas Reports 1st Likely Case of Local Zika Infection

Posted 11 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

U.S. Death Toll From Infectious Diseases Unchanged: Study

Posted 18 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – The war against infectious diseases – medicine versus microbes – has been holding steady, with the U.S. death rate from these diseases about the same now as it was in 1980, new research says. But some of the specific disease threats have changed over the years, the study authors noted. Researchers found that the national death rate from infections stood at almost 46 deaths per 100,000 people in 2014. That compared with 42 per 100,000 in 1980. There were some major shifts during that time, however. The overall death rate went as high as 63 per 100,000 in 1995, owing to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, according to the study. AIDS deaths declined from then on, with the introduction of the "drug cocktails" that have turned HIV into a manageable chronic disease. But while there was progress against HIV, deaths from pneumonia and flu complications held steady over the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Pneumonia, HIV Infection, Clostridial Infection, Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Adjunct to Antibiotic Therapy, Prevention of Clostridium Difficile Infection Recurrence

Zika Babies May Look Normal at Birth, Display Brain Defects Later: CDC

Posted 18 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – Babies exposed to the Zika virus in the womb can look normal at birth but later show signs of the devastating birth defect microcephaly and other brain abnormalities, researchers reported Tuesday. Scientists found that 13 infants in Brazil who were exposed to the mosquito-borne virus during gestation had normal head size as newborns, but subsequently experienced slower head growth. Eleven of these babies were diagnosed with microcephaly – an abnormally small head and brain – and other neurologic complications associated with Zika syndrome, the researchers reported. "Among infants of mothers exposed to Zika virus during pregnancy, the absence of microcephaly at birth does not rule out congenital Zika virus infection or the presence of Zika-related brain abnormalities," according to a news release from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ... Read more

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

Imaging Studies Shed Light on Zika's Effects

Posted 18 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – More details on how the Zika virus affects infants and adults will be presented to international researchers meeting in Chicago next week. Three studies scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America attempt to shed light on the mosquito-borne virus that's linked to severe birth defects in babies. Most cases to date have occurred in Latin American countries. In one study, researchers used CT imaging to examine the central nervous system of 16 newborns whose mothers were infected with Zika during pregnancy. The babies were found to have a number of brain abnormalities. "Our study proves that Zika virus infection can cause congenital brain damage in babies with and without microcephaly," study author Dr. Natacha Calheiros de Lima Petribu said in a society news release. She's with the department of radiology at Barao ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Zika No Longer 'Global Health Emergency,' WHO Says

Posted 20 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

FDA Scientists Develop Mouse Model for Zika Research

Posted 18 Nov 2016 by

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 – A mouse strain developed by U.S. government scientists could help speed up research into vaccines and treatments for the Zika virus, researchers report. Newborn mice of the new strain created by U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers are susceptible to Zika and develop neurological symptoms within 12 days after infection. But the mice eventually recover from the infection, so they provide an opportunity to study Zika's long-term effects as well as another way to assess experimental vaccines and treatments, the scientists said. "There are many unanswered and essential questions about how the Zika virus works, including the long-term impact," Daniela Verthelyi, chief of the FDA's Laboratory of Immunology, said in an agency news release. "This mouse model gives researchers a new tool to study and understand how the Zika virus replicates and spreads in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Women at Greater Risk Than Men for Zika Infection: Study

Posted 16 Nov 2016 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

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