Category Archives: Zika Virus

Inside the Trump Administration’s Decision to Leave the World Health Organization – (Blinds US to potential pandemics for humans and animals, as well as new flu developments)

The move could for the first time cut the U.S. government out of the development of the seasonal influenza vaccine for the Southern Hemisphere, a process coordinated by the WHO in partnership with the United States. And the withdrawal from the WHO could impede access to an eventual COVID-19 vaccine if it is created overseas, current and former officials said. Leaving the organization could also significantly blind the U.S. to health threats in remote foreign locales that, as the pandemic has shown, have the potential to make their way to the U.S. shores. Experts also fear the impact on major initiatives to combat infectious diseases, such as a WHO-led program that is on the cusp of eradicating polio. “To do this in the middle of a pandemic is breathtakingly dangerous,” said Nancy Cox, a former CDC virologist, who for 22 years led the agency’s WHO center on influenza surveillance and control. “So I worry a lot about what’s going to happen to so many of the programs at WHO that were strongly supported financially and through expertise and consultation with the U.S. I just think it could be really bad.”

Source: Inside the Trump Administration’s Decision to Leave the World Health Organization

‘Promiscuous treatment of nature’ will lead to more pandemics – scientists | Environment | The Guardian

Habitat destruction forces wildlife into human environments, where new diseases flourish

Source: ‘Promiscuous treatment of nature’ will lead to more pandemics – scientists | Environment | The Guardian

Where Pandemics Come From — and How to Stop Them • The Revelator

“It’s a mix of biodiversity, but one that was created by people, not nature,” Keesing says. “We create a mix of species that don’t naturally occur together, and then it’s kind of like running an uncontrolled experiment. This virus jumps to that species.” Maybe that’s when a pathogen that we didn’t know about, that hadn’t previously made anyone sick (to our knowledge), suddenly becomes virulent and infects humans. “It was only when we did that to biodiversity that that virus became dangerous.” These types of markets pose one of the clearest threats to animal and human health, but they’re not the only threat. A greater risk is posed by the complex mix of habitat loss, population declines in wild species, and population increases among livestock and domesticated animals, invasive species and other more adaptable forms of wildlife.

Source: Where Pandemics Come From — and How to Stop Them • The Revelator

Prevalence of Zika virus in blood donations: a systematic review and meta-analysis | BMC Infectious Diseases | Full Text

The pooled prevalence of Zika infection in blood donations was 1.02%. The prevalence varied greatly and reached to high-risk level in most of the situations. The results suggest that nucleic acid tests (NAT) for blood screening and pathogen reduction/inactivation technology (PRT) should be implemented in Zika-endemic areas and appropriate strategies should be designed according to different conditions.

Source: Prevalence of Zika virus in blood donations: a systematic review and meta-analysis | BMC Infectious Diseases | Full Text

Welcome Back to LA, Disease-Spreading Mosquitoes!: LAist

“The invasive Aedes species, which is what we are seeing a lot of, can transmit Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya and dengue,”

Source: Welcome Back to LA, Disease-Spreading Mosquitoes!: LAist

If a visitor comes to LA with active zika, yellow fever, chikungunya or dengue and is bitten by a local LA Aedes, that mosquito can become ground zero for the spread of those diseases in LA! With modern air travel and global warming, it is inevitable that those diseases get a foothold in LA unless LA has a very active and aggressive vector control system.

Online health hoaxes: The place where bleach “cures” autism and vaccines spread epidemics | In English | EL PAÍS

There is a place where cancer can be cured in just 42 hours and where all the doctors in the world are conspiring to deceive the population. It is a place where you can “cure” autism with bleach, and where vaccines, far from preventing epidemics, actually spread them. This place is called social media, where a losing battle is being waged on a daily basis against dangerous health hoaxes and misinformation. In Spain, the internet is the second most important source of information on pseudotherapies, and two-thirds of citizens go online to read up on health issues.

Source: Online health hoaxes: The place where bleach “cures” autism and vaccines spread epidemics | In English | EL PAÍS

Texas reports first local Zika case of 2017 | CIDRAP- Drip, drip, drip – pandemic start?

Texas health officials today announced the state’s first probable local Zika infection of the year, which also appears to be the first local case reported in the United States for 2017.The patient is a Hildago County resident who had not traveled outside the area or had any other risk factors, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TSDHS) said in a press release. Hildago County, located in the Rio Grande Valley, is in far southern Texas on the border with Mexico.The virus was probably transmitted by a mosquito bite in South Texas some time in the last few months, and lab tests show that the person is no longer at risk of spreading Zika to mosquitoes.In April the TDSHS expanded its recommendations for testing pregnant women and people with Zika infections in six South Texas counties, which led to thousands of tests being conducted and to the identification of the newly identified case.

Source: Texas reports first local Zika case of 2017 | CIDRAP

Animal cases of yellow fever near Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo | CIDRAP Deforestation drives new outbreaks

So far, yellow fever is currently being transmitted by two types of mosquitoes on Brazil, the Haemagogus or Sabethes. If yellow fever is introduced to a major urban center, the virus could jump to the Aedes aegypti mosquito, making human transmission more likely.”There is no evidence of human cases of yellow fever virus infection transmitted by Aedes aegypti, the vector that could sustain urban transmission of yellow fever,” the WHO said in its update.

Source: Animal cases of yellow fever near Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo | CIDRAP

CDC expands Zika travel advisory as WHO updates risk levels | CIDRAP

CDC adds 4 nations to Zika travel guidanceThe CDC announcement adds Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, and Solomon Island to a long list of countries on its travel advisory. For all four, public health officials are reporting that mosquitoes infected with Zika virus are spreading the disease to people.The CDC’s Angola and Maldives advisories includes maps showing parts of the country that are above 6,500 feet elevation, thought to be a lower risk, because mosquitos that spread Zika don’t usually live at higher elevations.

Source: CDC expands Zika travel advisory as WHO updates risk levels | CIDRAP