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Christopher Hardy 2016-11-29
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A woman in Brownsville, Texas, has a confirmed case of Zika even though she didn t travel to any Zika-stricken areas or have any other risk factors, Texas health authorities announced Monday.

Her case is likely the first known instance of Zika transmission by local mosquitoes in the state.

But, if true, that transmission is entirely unsurprising, officials there said.

In a press statement, John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said:

We knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Zika case spread by a mosquito in Texas.

We still don t believe the virus will become widespread in Texas, but there could be more cases, so people need to protect themselves from mosquito bites, especially in parts of the state that stay relatively warm in the fall and winter.

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Kellie Davenport 2016-05-18
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The baby's mother was diagnosed with the Zika virus during pregnancy

The Zika virus, which has mainly affected areas of central and South America, may spread to Europe this summer, the World Health Organisation WHO has warned.

"We call particularly on countries at higher risk to strengthen their national capacities and prioritise the activities that will prevent a large Zika outbreak."

The assessment took into consideration two factors: the likelihood of the virus spreading and the "existing national capacity to prevent or contain local transmission".

Countries and areas at highest risk included Russia, Georgia and the Portuguese island of Madeira.

WHO recommended a number of preventative measures to countries at high risk, including strengthening activities to prevent the spread of mosquitos, equipping health professionals to detect transmission of Zika and to ensure that communities "reduce mosquito breeding sites".

"We stand ready to support European countries on the ground in case of Zika outbreaks," said Nedret Emiroglu, Director of the Communicable Diseases and Health Security Division, WHO Regional Office for Europe.

collect
0
Christopher Hardy 2017-01-04
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And despite modern disease management strategies like insecticides, drugs and vaccines, in 2015 malaria still killed nearly half a million people.

In fact, malaria infects more people today than it did 50 years ago.

In particular, some scientists are experimenting with how they could alter the genetic code of mosquitoes to stop malaria transmission, then use a technique called gene drive to make sure those alterations spread throughout infected mosquito populations.

Malaria is a parasite that is carried by several different species of mosquito, and passed on to humans exclusively by female mosquitoes, the only ones that bite.

What we know about mosquitoes and malaria suggests three different approaches that could stop the spread of disease: scientists could alter mosquito genetics to spread a fatal flaw through the entire population, reducing overall numbers; they could modify mosquitoes to produce more male offspring than female offspring, reducing the number of mosquito bites; or they could equip mosquitoes with genes to help them fend off malaria, reducing transmission of the disease within mosquito populations and thus to humans, too.

Researchers from the Institute for Disease Modeling, Oxford and the Imperial College of London decided to use mathematical modeling to test how these methods might fare in the wilds of sub-Saharan Africa, where 90 percent of malaria-related deaths occur.

collect
0
Sonja Clemmons 2016-08-04
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A country that has reported tens of thousands of potential cases of Zika virus in the past 18 months and where local transmission is still very much on-going.

The impact the virus can have on unborn babies has raised concerns with athletes and supporters.

It has even led to calls for the Games to be postponed or held in another country.

But is the basis of this concern well founded and what impact will Zika virus have on the Games?

For those working in the field of emerging virus research the last few years have been eventful and shocking with a steep learning curve.

The 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa made international headlines as the number of infections initially spiralled out of control, exposing serious omissions in global public health preparedness.

collect
0
Adolfo Lorenzo 2016-08-14
img

The call concerned a woman in her late forties who had come to the hospital complaining of a fever, headaches, and an unusual rash.

Those cases had been attributed to a little-known virus called Zika, a member of a family of RNA viruses that includes dengue, West Nile, and yellow fever.

The illness is typically mild and self-limited, with resolution over 1 week, he noted.

One theory, among many, for the virus s appearance in Brazil is that it arrived in 2013, when Tahiti s soccer team, and hordes of fans, descended upon the country for the Confederations Cup.

Forty-nine cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome—a neurological condition, marked by flaccid paralysis, that can be associated with an aberrant immune response to a virus—were reported in Brazil, echoing a sharp increase in the syndrome which was noticed in Polynesia during the Zika outbreak there.

By late January, the number of reported cases skyrocketed to nearly four thousand.

collect
0
Christopher Hardy 2016-11-29
img

A woman in Brownsville, Texas, has a confirmed case of Zika even though she didn t travel to any Zika-stricken areas or have any other risk factors, Texas health authorities announced Monday.

Her case is likely the first known instance of Zika transmission by local mosquitoes in the state.

But, if true, that transmission is entirely unsurprising, officials there said.

In a press statement, John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said:

We knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Zika case spread by a mosquito in Texas.

We still don t believe the virus will become widespread in Texas, but there could be more cases, so people need to protect themselves from mosquito bites, especially in parts of the state that stay relatively warm in the fall and winter.

Christopher Hardy 2017-01-04
img

And despite modern disease management strategies like insecticides, drugs and vaccines, in 2015 malaria still killed nearly half a million people.

In fact, malaria infects more people today than it did 50 years ago.

In particular, some scientists are experimenting with how they could alter the genetic code of mosquitoes to stop malaria transmission, then use a technique called gene drive to make sure those alterations spread throughout infected mosquito populations.

Malaria is a parasite that is carried by several different species of mosquito, and passed on to humans exclusively by female mosquitoes, the only ones that bite.

What we know about mosquitoes and malaria suggests three different approaches that could stop the spread of disease: scientists could alter mosquito genetics to spread a fatal flaw through the entire population, reducing overall numbers; they could modify mosquitoes to produce more male offspring than female offspring, reducing the number of mosquito bites; or they could equip mosquitoes with genes to help them fend off malaria, reducing transmission of the disease within mosquito populations and thus to humans, too.

Researchers from the Institute for Disease Modeling, Oxford and the Imperial College of London decided to use mathematical modeling to test how these methods might fare in the wilds of sub-Saharan Africa, where 90 percent of malaria-related deaths occur.

Adolfo Lorenzo 2016-08-14
img

The call concerned a woman in her late forties who had come to the hospital complaining of a fever, headaches, and an unusual rash.

Those cases had been attributed to a little-known virus called Zika, a member of a family of RNA viruses that includes dengue, West Nile, and yellow fever.

The illness is typically mild and self-limited, with resolution over 1 week, he noted.

One theory, among many, for the virus s appearance in Brazil is that it arrived in 2013, when Tahiti s soccer team, and hordes of fans, descended upon the country for the Confederations Cup.

Forty-nine cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome—a neurological condition, marked by flaccid paralysis, that can be associated with an aberrant immune response to a virus—were reported in Brazil, echoing a sharp increase in the syndrome which was noticed in Polynesia during the Zika outbreak there.

By late January, the number of reported cases skyrocketed to nearly four thousand.

Kellie Davenport 2016-05-18
img

The baby's mother was diagnosed with the Zika virus during pregnancy

The Zika virus, which has mainly affected areas of central and South America, may spread to Europe this summer, the World Health Organisation WHO has warned.

"We call particularly on countries at higher risk to strengthen their national capacities and prioritise the activities that will prevent a large Zika outbreak."

The assessment took into consideration two factors: the likelihood of the virus spreading and the "existing national capacity to prevent or contain local transmission".

Countries and areas at highest risk included Russia, Georgia and the Portuguese island of Madeira.

WHO recommended a number of preventative measures to countries at high risk, including strengthening activities to prevent the spread of mosquitos, equipping health professionals to detect transmission of Zika and to ensure that communities "reduce mosquito breeding sites".

"We stand ready to support European countries on the ground in case of Zika outbreaks," said Nedret Emiroglu, Director of the Communicable Diseases and Health Security Division, WHO Regional Office for Europe.

Sonja Clemmons 2016-08-04
img

A country that has reported tens of thousands of potential cases of Zika virus in the past 18 months and where local transmission is still very much on-going.

The impact the virus can have on unborn babies has raised concerns with athletes and supporters.

It has even led to calls for the Games to be postponed or held in another country.

But is the basis of this concern well founded and what impact will Zika virus have on the Games?

For those working in the field of emerging virus research the last few years have been eventful and shocking with a steep learning curve.

The 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa made international headlines as the number of infections initially spiralled out of control, exposing serious omissions in global public health preparedness.