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Zika Virus Infection News

Related terms: Zika Fever, Zika Disease, Zika

New Technology Makes Gene Mapping Cheaper, Faster: Study

Posted 2 days 12 hours ago 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

US Medical Groups Sound the Alarm on Climate Change

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 – Climate change is not only an environmental issue, but a major threat to public health, according to 11 U.S. medical societies. It's an issue that many people do not know exists, even though it may already affect them, the groups warned in a new report. "We want to get the message out that climate change is affecting people's health right now," said Dr. Mona Sarfaty. She's director of the group collective the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health. More frequent and more intense heat waves raise the risk of heat-related illness, for example. Climate change can also exacerbate heart and lung conditions, including asthma and emphysema, said Sarfaty, who's also director of Program on Climate and Health at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. And, it can feed the spread of insect-borne infections, such as Lyme disease and Zika, and even contribute ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Heart Disease, Bronchitis, Lyme Disease, Gastroenteritis, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Traveler's Diarrhea, Ischemic Heart Disease, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis, Zika Virus Infection

Zika Attacks Nerves, Muscles, Other Tissues

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 9, 2017 – Scientists have learned where the Zika virus attacks the body in monkeys. In their study, researchers saw that the virus invades tissues in the nervous system, reproductive and urinary tracts, lymph nodes, muscles and joints. Zika then persists in these tissues for at least 35 days, the researchers reported. "This study helps us better understand how the virus manifests itself so that scientists can develop therapies and vaccines that could work in humans," said study author Daniel Streblow, from Oregon Health & Science University's Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute. He is an associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology. "What is different about this research is that we also were able to look at specific points in time to see where the virus grew in the tissues, not just the blood, so we can identify and target the reservoirs where the virus ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Zika Virus Infection

Zika Virus May Also Harm the Heart

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 9, 2017 – Zika may cause heart problems in some people infected with the mosquito-borne virus, researchers report. A new study has identified nine Venezuelan patients who suffered from heart problems shortly after coming down with Zika virus symptoms. Eight of the nine patients developed dangerous heart rhythm disorders, and two-thirds had evidence of heart failure, a condition in which the heart isn't pumping enough blood to meet the body's needs. Lead researcher Dr. Karina Gonzalez Carta said doctors should consider electrocardiograms (ECG) for all Zika-infected patients, and follow-up testing if an irregular heartbeat is detected. "While we anticipated we would see cardiovascular effects from Zika, we were surprised at the severity of the findings," said Carta, a Venezuelan native, and a cardiologist and research fellow at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. This is ... Read more

Related support groups: Eye Conditions, Heart Disease, Conjunctivitis, Hydrocephalus, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Risk of Birth Defects 20 Times Higher for Zika Moms: CDC

Posted 2 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 2, 2017 – Pregnant women infected with the Zika virus are 20 times more likely to have a baby born with certain birth defects as mothers who gave birth before the Zika epidemic began, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. Even worse, "when you look just at brain abnormalities and microcephaly, what we are seeing is more than 30 times higher than the prevalence before Zika was introduced to the Americas," said Margaret Honein. She is chief of the birth defects branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With microcephaly, babies are born with a smaller-than-normal head and an underdeveloped brain. Since the mosquito-borne virus first began to spread through South America in April 2015, thousands of babies have been born with Zika-linked microcephaly. The large majority have been born in Brazil, but the consequences of Zika infection during pregnancy ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Delivery, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Zika Infection Shrinks Testicles in Mice

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Zika virus can be sexually transmitted through semen, and a new mouse study could help explain why that occurs – and how the virus might damage male fertility. In lab research, Zika attacked the testicles of mice, targeting cells that produce the male hormone testosterone and ultimately causing testes to shrink, the researchers said. These findings "explain the persistence of the virus in semen," said Dr. Amesh Adalja. "If these findings hold in humans, the long-term consequences could include diminished fertility in males who were infected with Zika," said Adalja, an affiliated scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. He was not involved in the study. Zika typically is transmitted via mosquito bites, but researchers have learned that the virus also can be transmitted through a man's semen. As a result, the U.S. Centers for ... Read more

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

Scientists Probe Zika's Devastating Effect on Pregnancy

Posted 21 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 21, 2017 – Working with mice, researchers have learned more about how exposure to Zika virus early in pregnancy may increase the risk for miscarriage. Normally, the placenta protects a developing fetus from viral infections. But, somehow, Zika seems able to cross the placenta in early pregnancy, the study authors said. The mouse study also found that Zika-exposed fetuses that survive are more likely to be born with thinner-than-normal brain tissue, as well as brain cell inflammation. The researchers believe that their findings highlight a point of vulnerability that could be a potential target for future Zika interventions. "We need to find a way to stop transmission of Zika through the placenta into the fetus, because that is where the damage is being done," said study co-leader Sabra Klein. She is an immunologist and microbiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School ... Read more

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

For a Fun and Safe Tropical Getaway, Plan Ahead

Posted 17 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – If you're planning a tropical getaway, be sure to pack old standbys like bug spray and sunscreen – and maybe a lot more, a doctor advises. "In places like the Caribbean and South and Central America, where it is already summertime, people can potentially be exposed to health risks that they may not have at home," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Christopher Ohl. He is head of the International Travel Clinic at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. In the Caribbean and Central America, you can get sunburned in as little as 10 minutes. Wear sunscreen and a T-shirt or cover-up during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest, Ohl advised in a center news release. Be especially careful on the beach or at poolside where the water reflects sunlight. Also, be careful about what you eat and drink to reduce the risk of diarrhea. Safest ... Read more

Related support groups: Plan B, Mirena, Nexplanon, NuvaRing, Sprintec, Provera, Depo-Provera, Implanon, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Yasmin, Loestrin 24 Fe, Plan B One-Step, Ortho Evra, TriNessa, Mononessa, Lutera, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, Yaz

Zika Lingers in Semen for Less Time Than Thought: Study

Posted 15 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 – New research suggests the Zika virus lingers in a man's semen no longer than three months in almost all cases. Still, guidelines from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommend that infected men use condoms or abstain from sex for six months after infection with the Zika virus. Infectious disease experts said those guidelines should stay that way. "Better to err on the long end," said Matthew Aliota, an assistant scientist who studies viruses at the University of Wisconsin's School of Veterinary Medicine. The Zika epidemic began nearly two years ago in Brazil and has since spread around the world, causing severe birth defects in thousands of babies born to women infected with the virus during pregnancy. The most common birth defect has been microcephaly, which causes an abnormally small head and brain. More subtle sensory and neurological ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Postcoital Contraception, Viral Infection, Zika Virus Infection

New Zika Vaccine Candidate Provides Powerful Protection

Posted 3 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 – A single dose of an experimental Zika vaccine protected mice and monkeys from the virus, researchers report. Following Zika virus outbreaks in Latin America and some parts of the southern United States, scientists have been trying to develop a vaccine against the virus. Several vaccines have been tested in animals, but this is the first one to show strong and long-lasting protection without the use of a live virus, the researchers said. However, animal research does not always pan out in humans. Traditional vaccines contain a weakened or killed version of the target virus or isolated viral proteins. This vaccine uses tiny strands of RNA that contain the genetic codes for making viral proteins, according to the study authors. One injection of the vaccine triggered a rapid immune response in mice and protected them from intravenous exposure to Zika two weeks ... Read more

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

Scientists Create Mosquitoes Resistant to Dengue Virus

Posted 12 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 – Scientists say they have created mosquitoes resistant to the dengue virus, which might eventually help control the spread of the disease in humans. The team at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to boost their natural ability to fight infection by the virus. Mosquitoes get infected when they feed on someone who has the disease. Then they pass dengue to healthy people by biting them. Each year, dengue sickens about 96 million people worldwide. The virus kills more than 20,000 people, mostly children, the researchers said. "If you can replace a natural population of dengue-transmitting mosquitoes with genetically modified ones that are resistant to virus, you can stop disease transmission. This is a first step toward that goal," said study leader George Dimopoulos, a professor of molecular ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Zika Virus Infection, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Dengue Fever

Doctors Describe First U.S. Case of Locally Acquired Zika in Pregnancy

Posted 12 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 – The first case of locally acquired Zika virus in a pregnant woman in the United States did not result in devastating birth defects, doctors report. In a case study from the University of Miami, doctors provide new insight into the mosquito-borne virus, showing fetal exposure doesn't necessarily mean infection. The report also alerts doctors to suspect Zika in patients who may have traveled to south Florida, not just to areas outside the country where the virus is more prevalent. The infant – born full-term in October – showed none of the devastating birth defects linked to Zika, such as microcephaly (an abnormally small head and underdeveloped brain). "Initially, everything with the baby looked fine," said Dr. Ivan Gonzalez. He is co-director of the Zika response team at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where the mother and baby were ... Read more

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

Why Major Zika Outbreak Is Unlikely in U.S.

Posted 3 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 3, 2017 – The United States' comfortable standard of living makes a large-scale outbreak of Zika virus unlikely, a new scientific paper suggests. Exposure to mosquitoes in the United States is limited by widespread access to clean water, air conditioning, screened doors and windows, and other household amenities that most Americans take for granted, said lead author Max Moreno-Madrinan. He's an assistant professor with Indiana University-Purdue University Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis. Thus, the mosquito-borne Zika virus is not likely to gain a foothold in the United States as it did in Brazil and a host of other Latin American countries, according to Moreno-Madrinan. More than 80,000 people in 69 countries have been infected during an ongoing Zika outbreak that originated in Brazil in 2015. The prevalence of mosquito-transmitted diseases like Zika in ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Yellow Fever Prophylaxis, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever

More Than Half of Brazilian Women Avoid Pregnancy Due to Zika Fear

Posted 23 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016 – More than half of young women in Brazil are forgoing pregnancy due to the ongoing Zika epidemic, a new study finds. Since the outbreak began in Brazil, there have been 1,845 confirmed cases of birth defects tied to the mosquito-borne virus. Many involve microcephaly, a malformation where babies are born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains. The new study was led by Debora Diniz, a professor at the University of Brasilia. Her team surveyed more than 2,000 Brazilian women, aged 18 to 39, in June of this year. The result: 56 percent of the women said they had either avoided or tried to prevent a pregnancy because of the epidemic. Twenty-seven percent of the women said they had not tried to avoid pregnancy, while another 16 percent said they had not planned to get pregnant – regardless of whether Zika was a threat or not. "The results provide an ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Postcoital Contraception, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection

CDC Allocates $184 Million for Zika Protection

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016 – Nearly $184 million has been earmarked to protect Americans against Zika virus infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday. The funding will go to states, territories, local governments and universities. It's part of $350 million awarded to the CDC by Congress earlier in 2016 for Zika response and preparedness, the agency said. "Zika continues to be a threat to pregnant women," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. "States, territories, and communities need this CDC funding to fight Zika and protect the next generation of Americans." Zika exposure in pregnancy can cause microcephaly – which leads to an abnormally small brain and head – and other serious birth defects. Also, some adults develop a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome. The CDC said the supplemental funds will help ... Read more

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

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