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Zika Virus Infection News

Related terms: Zika Fever, Zika Disease, Zika

Eye Problems May Be Tied to Zika, Lab Study Suggests

Posted 2 days 12 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, Zika Virus Infection, Visual Defect/Disturbance

Zika Arrived in Florida at Least Four Different Ways

Posted 4 days 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 9 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

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses May Not Be Limited to Tropics

Posted 16 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

'Groundbreaking Strides' Made in Zika Vaccine Research

Posted 17 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, Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Zika Risk May Be Lower Than Thought for Some Pregnant Women

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 9, 2017 – U.S. women traveling to areas where the Zika virus is circulating might be less likely to be infected than expected, but risk remains, a new study suggests. Only one out of 185 pregnant women at a Los Angeles clinic who visited an active Zika area between January and August 2016 wound up infected, researchers report. "Overall, for women who have had exposures to Zika virus, the risk of maternal infection is low," said lead researcher Dr. Rashmi Rao, an obstetrician and gynecologist with the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. But, the risk of Zika infection "isn't zero, and I want to make that very clear," Rao continued. "Our party line for women remains that we don't recommend they travel to these areas at all, particularly if they are considering pregnancy or are pregnant." The one woman who contracted Zika developed her infection during a ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Delivery, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Hydrocephalus, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Cheap Test Might Pinpoint Where Zika Mosquitoes Lurk

Posted 4 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2017 – Some countries struck by the Zika virus have discussed widespread use of toxic pesticides to control virus-carrying mosquitoes. But researchers say there may be a low-tech, low-cost alternative. An existing DNA-screening technology may help determine whether Zika-transmitting mosquitoes are present in local populations, perhaps reducing reliance on harmful chemicals to control them, Colorado State University researchers reported. The technology is called loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). It easily detected Zika virus in human and mosquito samples from the United States, Brazil and Nicaragua, the researchers said. The LAMP test involves squishing a mosquito in water in a tube, heating it with chemicals, then watching for the solution to change color. Results from mosquitoes were available within about 30 minutes, but could take up to an hour, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Zika Virus Infection

Zika Epidemic in U.S. Could Be a Costly Scenario

Posted 4 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2017 – An outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the United States could be very costly, a new study warns. "This is a threat that has not gone away. Zika is still spreading silently and we are just now approaching mosquito season in the United States, which has the potential of significantly increasing the spread," said study leader Dr. Bruce Lee. He is an associate professor in the department of international health at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. "There's still a lot we don't know about the virus, but it is becoming clear that more resources will be needed to protect public health. Understanding what a Zika epidemic might look like, however, can really help us with planning and policy making as we prepare," Lee said in a Hopkins news release. In the study, computer models of outbreaks in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, ... Read more

Related support groups: Zika Virus Infection

Zika Can Harm Babies' Vision, Too

Posted 18 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – Although Zika virus is most well-known for the devastating neurological damage it can cause in the womb, a new study reports that some babies infected with Zika also may have lifelong vision impairment. Forty-three babies born in Colombia and Venezuela suffered damage to both eyes after being exposed to Zika through their pregnant mothers, researchers said. Their mothers showed no signs of eye problems. The damage mainly involved scar tissue on their retinas and optic nerves. But, five babies also appeared to have congenital glaucoma, said Dr. Fernando Arevalo, chair of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. Congenital glaucoma is a condition that causes increased pressure in the eye, likely because the eye's drainage system didn't develop properly. It can cause damage to the optic nerve, according to the Glaucoma Research ... Read more

Related support groups: Glaucoma, Hydrocephalus, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Epilepsy: Another Potential Zika Threat to Babies

Posted 17 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – Beyond its known links to birth defects and other problems, the Zika virus may also trigger cases of epilepsy in infants, warn experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among 48 babies from Brazil with probable congenital Zika infection, "50 percent reportedly had clinical seizures," said Dr. Daniel Pastula, Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp and Rosemarie Kobau. All three have studied Zika at the CDC, and co-wrote an essay on the Zika-epilepsy connection, published online April 17 in JAMA Neurology. The Zika virus is transmitted via mosquito bites, and its most devastating effects occur when pregnant women are infected. In those cases, Zika can trigger severe neurological birth defects such as microcephaly, where infants are born with underdeveloped skulls and brains. Thousands of such cases have occurred in South America, most notably in ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

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

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

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

Birth Defects Strike 1 in 10 U.S. Pregnancies Affected by Zika

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 4, 2017 – One in 10 pregnant U.S. women with confirmed Zika infection in 2016 had a baby with virus-related birth defects, federal health officials reported Tuesday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year received reports from 44 states of nearly 1,300 expecting mothers with possible Zika infection. In most cases, Zika was acquired during travel abroad to an area with active transmission of the mosquito-borne virus. Lab tests confirmed Zika infection in 250 of the women. Of those, 24 completed their pregnancy with a fetus or baby that suffered birth defects linked to the virus, the CDC said. The new report "confirms the now indisputable evidence that Zika has a great capacity to cause birth defects, especially in the first trimester," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an affiliated scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. "Among ... Read more

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

Scientists Probe Zika's Path to the Fetus

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 4, 2017 – In order for the mosquito-borne Zika virus to cause birth defects, it must first cross an infected woman's placenta to infect the fetus. Now, researchers led by Dr. Robert Linhardt of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore say they've identified how Zika does this – and possible ways to stop it. Throughout South America, the Zika virus has so far caused thousands of cases of devastating birth defects, most often microcephaly – babies born with a smaller-than-normal head and underdeveloped brains. So far, only a few such cases have occurred in the United States, but infections are a concern as the summer mosquito season nears. "We think Zika is going to come back with a vengeance this summer. That's why we are working really hard to understand Zika as best as we can, as fast as we can," Linhardt, a chemical biologist at Hopkins, said in a news release from the ... Read more

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

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