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Zika Virus Infection News

Related terms: Zika Fever, Zika Disease, Zika

Scientists Create Mosquitoes Resistant to Dengue Virus

Posted 9 days ago 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 9 days ago 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 18 days ago 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

Did El Nino Weather Give Zika a Boost?

Posted 19 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 19, 2016 – The weather phenomenon called El Nino might have aided the explosive spread of the Zika virus throughout South America, a new study reports. Climate patterns caused by El Nino could have increased reproduction rates in the mosquito species that carry the Zika virus and allowed those mosquitoes to live longer, researchers found. "Temperature conditions were exceptionally conducive for mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus over South America in 2015, related to the El Nino phenomenon superimposed on the global warming trend," said lead author Cyril Caminade. He's a research associate with the University of Liverpool Institute of Infection and Global Health in England. Caminade and his colleagues concluded that the transmission risk for mosquito-borne illnesses in 2015 was the highest it's been since 1950. They explained that incubation periods and mortality ... Read more

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

Pregnant Women Should Avoid Zika-Hit Texas Town: CDC

Posted 15 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 15, 2016 – Pregnant women should avoid traveling to a south Texas town that sits on the state's border with Mexico, because five cases of local Zika infection have been reported there, U.S. health officials advised Wednesday. The town of Brownsville is still experiencing temperatures that are warm enough for mosquitoes to continue to breed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zika is transmitted primarily via the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, although it can also be spread through sexual contact. "We're recommending pregnant women not travel to Brownsville, and if they do travel to that area, to ensure that they avoid mosquito bites and they avoid the risk of sexual transmission," the CDC's Dr. Denise Jamieson said in an agency news release. "And that when they return from the area, that they undergo testing for Zika virus infection." ... Read more

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

Lab Vaccine Shields Mice Against Zika Virus

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – Antibodies drawn from a patient infected with Zika could form the basis of a vaccine against the notorious virus, a new animal study suggests. Antibodies are protective proteins produced by the immune system. In laboratory studies, two antibodies drawn from the blood of a Zika-infected patient shielded mice from Zika virus infection, according to a team of Chinese researchers. Further, these antibodies appear to avoid one of the problems researchers have come up against in trying to develop a Zika vaccine, the study authors noted. Zika belongs to the flavivirus family, a group of mosquito-borne viruses that also includes dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus. Flaviviruses tend to cross-react, meaning that prior infection with any of them can increase a person's risk of contracting a nastier version of another flavivirus, explained Dr. Daniel Caplivski. ... Read more

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

Birth Defects From Zika More Far-Reaching Than Thought

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – Zika's ability to damage the infant brain may be even more far-reaching and insidious than previously thought, two new studies suggest. One study found that 6 percent of infants born to Zika-infected mothers in the United States had one or more birth defects related to the mosquito-borne virus. Meanwhile, a Brazilian study found 46 percent of babies of infected mothers in that country developed birth defects or died. The author of the U.S. study said many of the U.S.-born babies may still be diagnosed with birth defects as they approach the age of 1, since evidence has shown the virus can continue to damage a baby's brain after birth. The Zika outbreak first struck Brazil in April 2015, while the United States did not start reporting Zika infections until 2016. The devastating birth defects caused by the Zika virus – such as microcephaly, where the infant is ... Read more

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

Study Shows How Zika Attacks Infant Brain

Posted 13 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2016 – New research paints a chilling portrait of how Zika ravages the infant brain. Scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the mosquito-borne virus can replicate itself thousands of times in both fetal brain cells and the placentas of pregnant women. Levels of Zika's genetic material were about 1,000 times higher in the infants' brains than in the placentas, the researchers noted. Not only that, the virus can persist for more than seven months, which may explain why some babies who appeared normal at birth later developed symptoms of microcephaly, the researchers said. The most common birth defect associated with Zika, microcephaly leaves infants with too small heads and underdeveloped brains. "Our findings show that Zika virus can continue to replicate in infants' brains even after birth, and that the virus can persist in ... Read more

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

Zika Still a Threat During Winter Months

Posted 13 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2016 – Winter doesn't necessarily mean the end of the Zika threat in the United States, a public health expert says. Zika is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Their eggs can survive in conditions that kill adult mosquitoes, explained Dr. James Diaz. He is program director of Environmental/Occupational Health Sciences at Louisiana State University's School of Public Health in New Orleans. "Not only can the eggs of Aedes species mosquitoes survive winter, wide variations in daytime temperatures can stimulate egg-laying," Diaz said in a university news release. Unlike adult mosquitoes, the eggs can survive up to a year without water. All it takes is some rain for them to hatch, he said. Diaz also pointed out that some of the mosquitoes that carry Zika can transmit the virus to their offspring. This would allow the virus to survive from one season to the next. He ... Read more

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

Zika-Linked Birth Defects Surge in Colombia: CDC

Posted 11 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 – The tragedy of hundreds of babies born with devastating birth defects linked to the Zika virus is no longer confined to Brazil, a new report confirms. Colombia is now also experiencing a surge in these cases of infant microcephaly. It's a birth defect where newborns whose mothers contracted the mosquito-borne virus in pregnancy are born with too-small skulls and underdeveloped brains. A team led by Margaret Honein, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported that between Jan. 31, 2016 and mid-November 2016, there were 476 cases of microcephaly in Colombia, a fourfold increase from the same period in 2015. There were nine times as many cases of microcephaly in July 2016 than in July 2015, the researchers said. And because Colombia's surveillance of birth defects relies on voluntary reporting, the new data "likely underestimates the actual ... Read more

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

Florida Now Zika-Free

Posted 9 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

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 7 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

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

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