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Viral Infection News

Eye Problems May Be Tied to Zika, Lab Study Suggests

Posted 23 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 – Scientists exploring how the Zika virus passes from pregnant monkeys to their fetuses believe the infection may be more dangerous to human pregnancies than previously believed. "The results we're seeing in monkey pregnancies make us think that, as they grow, more human babies might develop Zika-related disease pathology than is currently appreciated," said lead researcher Ted Golos. Golos is professor of comparative biosciences and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The researchers came to their conclusions after infecting four pregnant macaque monkeys with levels of the virus roughly equivalent to what they'd get from a mosquito bite. Some monkeys were infected in the first trimester and others in the third trimester of the pregnancies. The scientists found that the virus made its way to each monkey's fetus. "That is a very high ... Read more

Related support groups: Eye Conditions, Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Zika Virus Infection

Zika Arrived in Florida at Least Four Different Ways

Posted 2 days 1 hour 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, Diagnosis and Investigation, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection

Zika Mosquito Can Transmit Other Viruses, Too

Posted 7 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

Another Step Toward Ebola Protection

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 18, 2017 – On the heels of concerns about a new Ebola outbreak in Africa, scientists say they've discovered the first human antibodies effective against all major Ebola viruses. The findings could lead to the first effective treatments and vaccines, according to the team of academic, industry and government researchers. Analysis of the blood of a survivor of the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in Western Africa led to the discovery. That epidemic caused more than 11,000 deaths and infected more than 29,000 people, the study authors noted. The race to find effective strategies against Ebola has suddenly become more urgent. In recent weeks, the World Health Organization has reported an Ebola outbreak in a remote area of Democratic Republic of Congo. The hemorrhagic disease has killed three there since April 22, and up to 20 cases are suspected, according to news reports. Hundreds ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

New Hepatitis C Infections Hit 15-Year High: CDC

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 – Reports of new hepatitis C infections in the United States nearly tripled over five years, reaching a 15-year high, federal government data show. The highest number of new infections were reported among 20- to 29-year-olds. Many stemmed from the growing use of injected drugs linked to the current opioid epidemic, officials said. The number of reported cases rose from 850 in 2010 to 2,436 in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But nearly half of people who have the liver infection don't know it, so most new cases are never reported. The CDC estimated there were actually about 34,000 new hepatitis C infections nationwide in 2015. "We must reach the hardest-hit communities with a range of prevention and treatment services that can diagnose people with hepatitis C and link them to treatment. This wide range of services can also ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Viral Infection, Liver and Pancreatic Disease

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses May Not Be Limited to Tropics

Posted 14 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 15 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

'Groundbreaking Strides' Made in Zika Vaccine Research

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 10, 2017 – Development of a Zika vaccine is proceeding rapidly, but it still will be years before such a vaccine is available to the public, says the author of a new report on research efforts. Three leading vaccine candidates are being tested in humans. Two are based on cutting-edge DNA vaccine technology and the third is based on the more standard inactivated virus model, said Dr. Stephen Thomas. He's a professor of infectious disease with the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. "The pace of R&D for a Zika vaccine is incredibly brisk," Thomas said. "Truly, some groundbreaking strides have been made in very short periods of time." But Thomas believes it will be at least two to four years before a vaccine has received federal approval and enters mass production. Human testing currently is aimed at making sure that the vaccine is safe, ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Zika Virus Infection

Cancer Risk Rises After Childhood Organ Transplant: Study

Posted 26 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 – Children given an organ transplant have a substantially higher risk of developing cancer – in some cases up to 200 times higher – than the general population, a new study finds. But the individual risk of any one child getting cancer still remains very small, the study authors stressed. Overall, the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) study found that the risk for cancer among children who received transplants was 19 times higher than in the general population. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was the cancer with a 200 times higher risk. Seventy-one percent of those who developed cancer after a pediatric organ transplant had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the study findings showed. "We knew going into the study that the risk of lymphoma would be very high," explained Dr. Eric Engels, the study's senior investigator. "That's been seen in much smaller studies, and it's been ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Leukemia, Renal Transplant, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Organ Transplant - Rejection Prophylaxis, Viral Infection, Organ Transplant, Kidney Transplant, Organ Transplant - Rejection Reversal, Rejection Prophylaxis, Rejection Reversal

Some Surprising Sources of Germs

Posted 25 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – You might think of public restrooms as scary breeding grounds for germs, but two everyday items can spread colds and the flu as fast as a bathroom doorknob. They're your phone and your computer. More germs reside on these two items than on most any toilet seat. Most of the germs on your phone come from your own hands and mouth. But you can also pick up germs by putting down your cell phone in a public place or by sharing your computer with others. To minimize germs, don't share your cell phone and get in the habit of periodically wiping it off with antibacterial wipes or rubbing alcohol. On your computer, the keyboard and mouse are the worst germ offenders. That's why cleaning your computer the right way is a must. Start by shutting it down and unplugging it. Next, turn over the keyboard and shake out any dust or crumbs. Then wipe down each computer component ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Viral Infection

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

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

Infections More Common in People With Schizophrenia

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 3, 2017 – People with schizophrenia may face an increased risk for serious infections, a new study suggests. "The preliminary data results suggest that individuals with schizophrenia have higher prevalence of all types of severe infections compared to the background population," study author Monika Pankiewicz-Dulacz, from the University of Southern Denmark, and colleagues wrote. "Clinicians should be aware that people with schizophrenia are the risk group for severe infections. General guidelines and suggestions regarding prevention of severe infections among schizophrenia patients are needed, and they should address a wide range of areas including hygiene, diet, activities, medications, treatment of comorbid [co-existing] conditions and vaccinations," the researchers concluded. However, the study's findings only show a link between schizophrenia and certain infections, ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Urinary Tract Infection, Bacterial Infection, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bacterial Skin Infection, Tuberculosis, Skin and Structure Infection, Viral Infection, Infectious Hepatitis, Wound Infection

Prison Time Can Be Deadly … to Health

Posted 26 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 – Prison time can exact a deadly toll on health, new research suggests. Being behind bars puts people at greater risk for both developing certain types of cancer and dying from their disease, Canadian researchers found. "We know that people who spend time in jails and prisons in Canada are more likely to use alcohol and tobacco, as well as have infections such as HPV (human papillomavirus) and HIV, which can increase the risk of developing some types of cancer," said study author Dr. Fiona Kouyoumdjian. She is a researcher at St. Michael's Hospital and McMaster University in Toronto. For the study, the researchers followed nearly 50,000 people sentenced to jail time in Ontario in 2000. Specifically, the investigators examined how many of these inmates developed cancer and how many died from the disease over the course of 12 years. By 2012, 2.6 percent of the men ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Cancer, Hepatitis C, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Colorectal Cancer, Human Papilloma Virus, Cervical Cancer, Viral Infection

Do You Need an Antibiotic?

Posted 24 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 – Hoping to lessen their misery, most people would like to know whether the respiratory illness they've got could be helped by an antibiotic. The key to finding out may lie in your nose. Or, more specifically, the mucus in your nose. Researchers from Duke Health in Durham, N.C., said they've identified a group of proteins that could be used to tell if an infection is caused by a virus, which triggers cold or flu. Antibiotics can only fight bacterial infections, not viral illnesses. When detected in specific quantities in the mucus of runny noses and inflamed throats, the proteins targeted in the new study were 86 percent accurate in confirming a viral infection, the scientists said. "In the past, science has focused on identifying the pathogen someone is infected with in the blood or other sample," said study lead author Thomas Burke. He's director of technology ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Azithromycin, Bactrim, Zithromax, Sulfamethoxazole, Erythromycin, Clarithromycin, Bactrim DS, Biaxin, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Sulfadiazine, Septra, Zithromax Z-Pak, MY-E, Z-Pak, SMZ-TMP DS, Septra DS, Sulfatrim, Viral Infection, Cotrimoxazole

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