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Related terms: West Nile Fever

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

West Nile's Long-Term Bite: Impact on Brain May Last Years

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 – Some people with a history of West Nile virus may show symptoms such as muscle weakness or foggy memory years later, a preliminary study suggests. West Nile is a mosquito-transmitted infection that turned up in North America in 1999. Since then, outbreaks have occurred across the United States each summer – with more than 47,000 reported cases overall, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the true number is estimated to be much higher – more than 3 million – largely because most people with West Nile either do not get sick, or have flu-like symptoms such as a fever and headache. A small number – fewer than 1 percent – develop serious inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. About 10 percent of those patients die, according to the agency. The new study suggests that some patients have lingering issues up to ... Read more

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

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

Some U.S. Olympians Got West Nile in Brazil, But Not Zika

Posted 10 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 9, 2017 – The Zika virus was less of a threat than feared for Olympic athletes at the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil. But other mosquito-borne infections struck a number of Americans, a new study reveals. Of more than 450 Olympians and staffers who provided blood samples, 7 percent tested positive for West Nile virus, dengue fever or chikungunya, researchers found. These other tropical diseases generally cause much milder symptoms than Zika, which has been linked to devastating birth defects. In rare cases, however, these less-feared infections can be disabling or fatal, the researchers said. "We all had our Hollywood sunglasses on, and they blinded us to other possibilities," said Marc Couturier, a medical director at Utah's ARUP Laboratories who led the testing. "We can't forget that West Nile virus has been around for a while, and is still here." About 1 in 5 people with ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Keep Mosquitos Out of Your Yard

Posted 12 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

-- In addition to being a nuisance and a source of itch, mosquitos can carry a host of serious diseases, including Zika and West Nile. So how do you rid them from your yard? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests: Every week, empty and clean any outside containers that may hold water. These may include trash cans, bird baths or planters. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. If your outside container doesn't have a lid, cover with a wire mesh. Make sure the mesh is smaller than the size of an adult mosquito. If you have a large container that you can't empty, treat it with larvicide (but don't let any person or pet drink the water). Repair any cracks or holes in your septic tank, and cover any plumbing or vent pipes with fine wire mesh. Apply insecticide in your yard. Read more

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

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

New Technology Makes Gene Mapping Cheaper, Faster: Study

Posted 23 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 23, 2017 – Scientists say they've developed a much cheaper and faster technology for mapping the genetic makeup of a living organism. They demonstrated the technology by decoding the DNA of the mosquito species that transmits the Zika virus. The original Human Genome Project took 10 years and cost $4 billion, but this new 3-D assembly method did the same in a few weeks for less than $10,000, the researchers reported. This new approach determines the sequence of each chromosome by studying how the chromosomes fold inside the nucleus of a cell. It can be used on any patient, or any species for that matter, they added. "As physicians, we sometimes encounter patients who we know must carry some sort of genetic change, but we can't figure out what it is," study co-author Dr. Aviva Presser Aiden said in a Baylor College of Medicine news release. "To figure out what's going ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Zika Virus Infection

Drought May Beckon Bigger West Nile Outbreaks

Posted 8 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – A parched climate might be the perfect environment for spreading West Nile virus, a new study suggests. Researchers examined 15 years of data on West Nile virus infections in people across the United States and found that epidemics were larger during years of drought. There were also bigger outbreaks in areas that had not experienced large epidemics of the mosquito-borne virus in the past. "We found that drought was the dominant weather variable correlated with the size of West Nile virus epidemics," study author Sara Paull, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said in a university news release. She is now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. West Nile first appeared in North America in 1999, and since then has caused outbreaks each summer. But there has been significant variation in the severity of those ... Read more

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

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

Posted 6 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

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, Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites, Malaria Prophylaxis, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

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

Posted 22 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

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, Prevention of Clostridium Difficile Infection Recurrence, Adjunct to Antibiotic Therapy

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

Posted 14 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

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

When It Comes to West Nile, Robins Do It, Cardinals Don't

Posted 9 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 8, 2016 – Cardinals, common backyard birds in parts of the United States, may help protect people against West Nile virus, a new study indicates. Researchers wanted to learn why the infection rate for the mosquito-borne virus in Georgia has remained low even though about one-third of birds in the Atlanta area have been exposed to the virus. A similar pattern is evident throughout the Southeast, but the situation is the opposite in many cities in the Northeast and Midwest. For example, West Nile infection rates in Chicago are six times higher than Atlanta's, even though less than 20 percent of birds in Chicago have evidence of infection, the study team said. The researchers focused on birds, particularly American robins. They are considered "super-spreaders" of West Nile because they efficiently pass the virus along to mosquitoes that bite them. Those mosquitoes can then ... Read more

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

Zika Vaccine Efforts Get Boost From Prior Research

Posted 28 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2016 – Efforts to create a Zika vaccine are getting a leg up from lessons learned during earlier battles against other mosquito-borne viruses, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. Researchers are working on two potential vaccines, each based on earlier vaccines created in response to prior outbreaks of West Nile virus and dengue, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a morning news conference. "It is to our advantage that we already have existing vaccine platforms to use as a sort of jumping-off point," Fauci said. A Zika vaccine could be ready for clinical trial by later this year, but Fauci warned that it will likely take years before the vaccine is ready for market. "It is important to understand that we will not have a widely available safe and effective Zika vaccine this year, and probably ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Zika Virus Infection

West Nile Virus Most Common Mosquito-Borne Illness in U.S.

Posted 3 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 3, 2015 – West Nile virus, which first appeared in the United States in 1999, continues to be the most common mosquito-borne illness in the country, federal health officials reported Thursday. Of 2,327 cases of mosquito-transmitted disease identified in 2014, there were 2,205 cases of West Nile, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California, Texas and Arizona reported two-thirds of the cases of West Nile, the CDC researchers said. Most people – an estimated 75 percent – infected with West Nile virus won't develop any symptoms, according to the CDC. Less than 1 percent of people will develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis, which is inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. Symptoms of severe cases can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus

As Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Threaten U.S., Less Money Spent Fighting Them

Posted 11 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 11, 2015 – Diseases spread by mosquitos pose a growing threat to the health of Americans, with the risk at its greatest during these hot summer months. But you wouldn't know that from the amount of money being spent to track West Nile virus, dengue, chikungunya and other illnesses spread by pests like mosquitos, ticks and fleas, a new study reports. Funding has dropped by nearly two-thirds for state and local surveillance programs aimed at preventing insect-borne diseases, according to a report published online June 10 in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. The decrease in funding has led to the partial dismantling of these programs, making it tougher to prevent or respond to outbreaks, said study author Dr. James Hadler, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, in New Haven, Conn. "We can't put out specific information about current or ... Read more

Related support groups: West Nile Virus, Chikungunya Virus Infection

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