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Zika Virus Infection News

Related terms: Zika Fever, Zika Disease, Zika

Zika Babies Facing Increasing Health Problems With Age

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 14, 2017 – Most children born with brain abnormalities caused by the Zika virus are facing severe health and developmental challenges at 2 years of age, a new study suggests. These problems may include seizures, an inability to sit independently as well as problems with sleep, feeding, hearing and vision, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their findings come from a study of 19 Zika-infected children in Brazil, the epicenter of a Zika outbreak that began in 2015. Most of the children were found to have problems in multiple areas as a result of prenatal exposure to the mosquito-borne virus, the researchers reported. "Children severely affected by Zika virus are falling far behind age-appropriate developmental milestones, and their challenges are becoming more evident as they age," CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said in ... Read more

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

Zika Nerve Damage May Stem From Body's Response to the Virus

Posted 27 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 27, 2017 – Nerve-related complications of Zika infection may be caused by the immune system's response to the virus, not the virus itself, according to a new study. Zika is spread primarily via the bite of an infected mosquito, but it may also be transmitted by blood transfusion or sexual contact. Most people who become infected don't have any symptoms, but some develop serious neurological conditions. And an infection during pregnancy can cause devastating birth defects. The researchers said their findings, based on experiments with mice, may help lead to new ways to treat people with Zika-related nerve complications, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome. The syndrome can cause muscle weakness, tingling and even paralysis. The Yale University research team found that when Zika infection spreads from the blood to the brain in mice, immune cells flood the brain. This limits the ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Zika Virus Infection

Bio-Engineered Mosquitoes to be Released In U.S.

Posted 9 Nov 2017 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, Dengue Fever, Diethyltoluamide

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, Dengue Fever, Diethyltoluamide

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

First Test to Detect Zika in Blood Donations Approved

Posted 7 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 6, 2017 – The cobas Zika test has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – the first approved screening test to detect the Zika virus in blood donations. The test is not designed to diagnose any particular person's Zika infection, however, the FDA said. In August 2016, the agency recommended that all U.S. states and territories screen blood for Zika, according to an FDA media release. "Screening blood donations for the Zika virus is critical to preventing infected donations from entering the U.S. blood supply," said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Some blood-collection centers had already been using the cobas test in order to comply with the 2016 edict. Data collected from this testing, in tandem with additional information provided by the test's manufacturer, were used to approve the diagnostic, the FDA ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Transfusion, Insect Bites, von Willebrand's Disease, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Hemophilia, Zika Virus Infection, Blood Cell Transplantation

FDA Approves Test to Screen Donated Blood for Zika

Posted 6 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 6, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new test – called the cobas Zika test – to screen donated blood for the Zika virus. "Today's action represents the first approval of a Zika virus detection test for use with screening the nation's blood supply," Dr. Peter Marks said Thursday in an agency news release. Marks is director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "Screening blood donations for the Zika virus is critical to preventing infected donations from entering the U.S. blood supply. Today's approval is the result of a commitment by the manufacturer to work rapidly and collaboratively with the FDA and the blood collection industry to respond to a public health crisis, and ensure the safety of blood in the U.S. and its territories." Zika is spread mainly through mosquitoes carrying the virus. It can also be transmitted ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Transfusion, Diagnosis and Investigation, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Zika Virus Infection, Blood Cell Transplantation

Zika Vaccine Works in Early Human Trial

Posted 5 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 5, 2017 – An experimental vaccine for the Zika virus has shown signs of success in an early human trial. The vaccine safely produced Zika-specific antibodies in 100 percent of the people involved in the study. "Zika virus continues to be a threat to people living in the Americas and the Caribbean," said study author Dr. Pablo Tebas, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "With these new results, we are one step closer to hopefully finding a way to prevent infection, which can cause serious birth defects and developmental delays in babies born to women who are infected with Zika," he said. The synthetic DNA-based Zika vaccine is known as GLS-5700. Unlike some vaccines that use weakened or killed versions of a virus, the experimental Zika vaccine contains synthetic DNA instructions that enable the immune system to neutralize ... Read more

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

Antibody Injections in Pregnancy Might Shield Fetus From Zika

Posted 4 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4, 2017 – A new antibody "cocktail" promises to provide effective, if temporary, protection against the Zika virus, a new study reports. A blend of three potent antibodies completely prevented Zika infection in a group of four lab monkeys, said senior researcher David Watkins, a professor of pathology with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Regular injections of these antibodies potentially could provide vital protection to pregnant women either living in or traveling to areas where Zika is widespread, Watkins said. Zika can cause devastating neurological birth defects, including microcephaly, a condition in which the brain and skull are underdeveloped. "I would say if you were to give a woman in the first trimester an injection and then another injection at the middle of the second trimester, that would suffice" to protect her unborn child from Zika ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Zika Virus Infection

How Zika Virus Went From Mild to Devastating

Posted 28 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 – A single genetic mutation just a few years back gave the Zika virus the ability to cause severe neurological birth defects like microcephaly, a new study in mice suggests. Scientists have known about the Zika virus since 1947, when it was discovered in a monkey from the Zika Forest in Uganda. At that point, it was only linked to mild symptoms. It wasn't until the Zika epidemic of 2015 in Central and South America that Zika became known as a cause of microcephaly, a devastating condition in which a newborn's brain and skull are severely underdeveloped. How did that happen? One particular genetic change, which likely occurred in 2013, boosted Zika's ability to damage the neural stem cells that serve as building blocks for a fetus' developing brain, Chinese researchers report. "The evidence suggests this particular mutation somehow increased the ability of the ... Read more

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

Rapid, Easy Zika Test Developed

Posted 27 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – A new fast, easy and cheap "dipstick" test for the Zika and dengue viruses could revolutionize public health response to dangerous tropical germs, a new study reports. The test accurately diagnoses Zika and dengue and can tell the two mosquito-borne viruses apart, an area in which commercially available tests now stumble, said senior researcher Lee Gehrke, a professor with the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science. "In light of the problems with Zika virus causing microcephaly [a genetic abnormality resulting in a smaller-than-normal head] and other defects in babies born to infected mothers, it's very important a pregnant woman would know if her fever is caused by Zika virus or dengue virus," said Gehrke, who's also a professor at Harvard Medical School. The new test resembles a pregnancy test strip, Gehrke noted. The strip contains antibodies ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever

Sound the Mosquito Alarm, Across the USA

Posted 21 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 21, 2017 – Two species of disease-transmitting mosquitoes could likely flourish in most of the United States, government researchers report. Specifically, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus could survive and reproduce for at least part of the year in three-quarters of the counties in the lower 48 states if introduced there, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These two species can transmit viruses that cause Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The range where Aedes aegypti could survive includes much of the eastern United States south of the Great Lakes, as well as parts of several southwestern states. The range where Aedes albopictus could survive extends farther into the northeast but is more limited in the southwest. The study and accompanying maps were published online Sept. 21 in the Journal of Medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Yellow Fever Prophylaxis, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever, Diethyltoluamide

Beat Back Mosquitos After Hurricane Irma

Posted 18 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2017 – As if those who weathered Hurricanes Irma and Harvey don't have enough to worry about, one bug expert warns that the standing water left behind is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Residents need to drain birdbaths, pots and anything else in their yards that can provide egg-laying sites for the disease-carrying insects. "No container is too small to empty," Phil Kaufman, an entomology professor at the University of Florida, said in a university news release. Mosquito species that lay eggs in standing water in containers include those that transmit Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses. Kaufman also recommended using mosquito briquettes to kill immature mosquitoes. The briquettes are available at many stores. When you go outside to empty containers or do yard cleanup, you should apply insect repellent (preferably with DEET) and wear light-colored ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection, Diethyltoluamide

Vision Problems Common in Babies Infected With Zika

Posted 14 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 2017 – When Zika infections strike in the womb, babies' eyes likely suffer, researchers say. Two studies of Brazilian infants with confirmed and suspected Zika virus infection in the womb found that all of them had vision problems. These problems included scarring, misalignment of the eyes, repetitive movement of the eye, and low vision. Of the 102 infants studied, about 40 percent had eye abnormalities and all had visual impairments, the study authors said. The findings were published online in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Because all infants had with visual impairment, these findings suggest "that the visual impairment is most likely related to the extensive damage to the central nervous system," said Dr. Liana Ventura, of HOPE Eye Hospital in Recife, Brazil. She was the lead investigator of one of the ... Read more

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

Could the Zika Virus Help Battle a Deadly Brain Cancer?

Posted 5 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2017 – The Zika virus is well known for causing devastating brain defects in fetuses. But what if scientists could use that ability to do something good? Researchers report that they think they might be able to harness the virus' attraction to developing brain cells – instead of adult brain cells – as a potential treatment for a deadly type of brain cancer. In lab and animal experiments, scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California, San Diego, showed – that the virus was able to target and destroy stem cells that drive the growth of a deadly and common type of brain tumor, known as a glioblastoma. "Our study is a first step towards the development of safe and effective strains of Zika virus that could become important tools in neuro-oncology and the treatment of glioblastoma," said study co-leader Michael ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection

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