Tag Archives: Zika Virus

CDC updates Aedes mosquito maps, gears up for Zika summit | CIDRAP

Maps show best estimates, but not disease risk The new maps—the first update in over a decade—are the CDC’s best estimates for Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus ranges, based on a variety of sources. The agency emphasized that the maps aren’t intended to show exact locators or portray the risk for the spread of Zika virus.

Source: CDC updates Aedes mosquito maps, gears up for Zika summit | CIDRAP

Avian Flu Diary: WHO SitRep : Zika, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome – March 31st

Zika virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome Read the full situation report Summary From 1 January 2007 to 30 March 2016, Zika virus transmission was documented in a total of 61 countries and territories. Four of these (Cook Islands, French Polynesia, ISLA DE PASCUA – Chile, and New Caledonia) reported a Zika virus outbreak that is now over. Six countries have now reported locally acquired infection in the absence of any known mosquito vectors, probably through sexual transmission (Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand and the United States of America). In the Region of the Americas, the geographical distribution of Zika virus has steadily widened since the presence of the virus was confirmed in 2015. Mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in 33 countries and territories of this region. In the Western Pacific Region, mosquito-borne Zika virus cases have been reported in 16 countries and areas. Microcephaly and other fetal malformations have been reported in Brazil (944 cases), Cabo Verde (two cases), Colombia (32 cases), French Polynesia (eight cases), Martinique (one case) and Panama (one case). Two additional cases, linked to a stay in Brazil, were detected in the United States of America and Slovenia. In the context of Zika virus circulation, 13 countries or territories have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases. Based on observational, cohort and case-control studies there is strong scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of GBS, microcephaly and other neurological disorders. The global prevention and control strategy launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Strategic Response Framework encompasses surveillance, response activities and research. This situation report is organized under those headings.

Source: Avian Flu Diary: WHO SitRep : Zika, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome – March 31st

Second Case Of Zika Virus Confirmed In L.A. County: LAist

A pregnant woman from Los Angeles County is infected with Zika virus after traveling abroad, according to a release from the L.A. County Department of Public Health. She’s the second Angeleno to be infected with the virus. The first case was reported in November: a young girl who traveled to El Salvador in November who has since recovered, according the L.A. Times. Though the virus usually presents only minor symptoms, Zika seems to be linked to a surge of microcephaly cases in Brazil. Microcephaly is a birth defect that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads, leading to brain damage. L.A. County’s Public Health department has issued a travel warning for Angelenos headed to several Latin American and Caribbean countries where Zika infections are more widespread. So far, no one has actually picked up the disease in L.A. However, the Aedes mosquito, the species known to carry the virus, is found throughout the San Gabriel Valley. A total of 14 Californians have been infected with the virus since 2014, including six this year. Like other mosquito transmitted viruses like West Nile, the easiest way to keep risk to a minimum is to eliminate standing water.

Source: Second Case Of Zika Virus Confirmed In L.A. County: LAist

Avian Flu Diary: WHO: Zika Risk Assessment In The African Region – What goes around may be worse the second time around!

Although the Zika virus was first detected in Uganda nearly 70 years ago (see WHO Timeline) it was never considered a serious problem in Africa because human infection was rare and the illness it produced was extremely mild.  The virus maintained these attributes as it slowly spread from Africa into equatorial Asia (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan) during the 1970s and 1980s. Sporadic human infections – but no outbreaks – were reported. It wasn’t until the virus arrived in 2007 to the South Pacific island of Yap that a large human outbreak of Zika was recorded. Over the next three years, more than 70% of the island’s population was estimated to have been infected, although no serious illness or deaths were reported.

It wasn’t until the virus arrived in 2007 to the South Pacific island of Yap that a large human outbreak of Zika was recorded. Over the next three years, more than 70% of the island’s population was estimated to have been infected, although no serious illness or deaths were reported.

In 2012 researchers determined that a new `Asian strain’ of Zika had emerged, similar to – but genetically distinct from – the African strain.  It was this new Asian strain that sparked the first large outbreak on Yap Island, and a variant of that strain that would arrive in the Americas 7 years later in 2014.

In 2013-2014 Zika began to show some teeth in the South Pacific, where for the first time we saw in Zika, Dengue & Unusual Rates Of Guillain-Barre Syndrome  In French Polynesia, outcomes that challenged the notion that Zika only produces mild illness.

In 2014 Zika landed in Brazil, likely brought in by a viremic international traveler, and found nearly perfect conditions to proliferate and thrive; a competent vector (Aedes mosquitoes), a year-round climate suitable for mosquito transmission, and an immunologically naive population.  Within a year, well over a million infections had occurred, and while most were mild, we began to see reports suggesting that maternal infection with Zika could cause serious congenital birth defects, and some small percentage of those infected might be affected by Guillain-Barré Syndrome.  In its multi-decade trek across Asia and the Pacific, the Zika virus

Within a year, well over a million infections had occurred, and while most were mild, we began to see reports suggesting that maternal infection with Zika could cause serious congenital birth defects, and some small percentage of those infected might be affected by Guillain-Barré Syndrome.  In its multi-decade trek across Asia and the Pacific, the Zika virus

In its multi-decade trek across Asia and the Pacific, the Zika virus changed, and was no longer the same innocuous strain that has caused so little trouble over the years in Africa.   Which means that Africa – which shares the same sort of mosquito vectors and climate as much of South and Central America – could conceivably see a more robust, more `worldly’  Zika virus find its way back to where it began.

Source: Avian Flu Diary: WHO: Zika Risk Assessment In The African Region

IRIN | After 60 years of Zika in Asia, why worry?

“The strain in Brazil could be new because mutation rates in these viruses are high. Moist tropical climates, population explosion and international travel mean Asia is susceptible to Zika,” said Dr. Shailen Saxena, of the Indian Virological Society. He said that rapidly growing populations in many Asian countries make them vulnerable to an outbreak of Zika. As migration to cities increases, so do slums with poor sanitation and stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed.

Source: IRIN | After 60 years of Zika in Asia, why worry?

VDU’s blog: Zika virus: pathology, postulates and questions…

There remain a few of voids around the ZIKV/microcephaly topic that I can and have listed below…

  1. How long has ZIKV been in Brazil and in what numbers?
  2. What are the real (not affected by extra attention/poor reporting) rates of microcephaly in Brazil?
  3. Do real rates of microcephaly diagnoses vary by region/state?
  4. What are the real rates of microcephaly in countries other than Brazil?
  5. How many microcephaly diagnoses have been infected with ZIKV?
  6. How many infections by other viruses including Dengue virus (DENV)?
  7. Is microcephaly a seasonal diagnosis?
  8. What other possible causes of microcephaly also occur with a seasonal pattern?
  9. Are DENV and Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and other mosquito-borne virus infections seasonal?
  10. Is ZIKV seasonal?
  11. Is mosquito treatment and/or mosquito breeding in this region seasonal?
  12. Apart from Pyriproxyfen, what other pesticides are in use and are they all equally safe?
  13. What has been excluded from having a role in causing a GBS or microcephaly diagnosis so far?
  14. What are the data supporting this?
  15. What about other chemicals that have been associated with microcephaly, for example Isoretinoids in cosmetics [22]
  16. What is the tissue distribution of the ZIKV receptor(s) and are we happy we know what that receptor(s) is/are [23]?
  17. Does ZIKV cross the blood-brain and placental barriers in the absence of microcephaly?
  18. What does ZIKV do in foetal, or infant/child/adult, brain tissue?
  19. Is it destructive or inflammatory and does it constantly produce new virus or does it enter some type of latency?
  20. How long does ZIKV persist in foetal tissues?
  21. Are there long-term disease consequences from ZIKV infection of brain tissue that stretch into adulthood?
  22. Does ZIKV persist in the adult central nervous system or anywhere else apart from semen (and what is the upper limit of persistence in semen)? Do DENV, CHIKV, JEV etc persist?
  23. Are the mutations observed between ZIKV lineages and within lineages important for viral virulence, transmissibility or for the clinical course of disease?
  24. Is ZIKV present in and/or able to persist in the eye (during or after conjunctivitis) or in other organs?
  25. Are there mums with evidence of past ZIKV infection who have delivered completely healthy babies?
  26. Do these babies have any other issues?
  27. How has the study of ZIKV infection in mums been done – by unbiased selection and testing or testing only those with symptoms?
  28. When would we expect to see signs of microcephaly among pregnant mothers in Colombia and other countries with large outbreaks of ZIKV?

Source: VDU’s blog: Zika virus: pathology, postulates and questions…

(it is not easy, is it?)

Zika forest: birthplace of virus that has spread fear across the world | Global development | The Guardian

Zika was first identified in this spot near Entebbe. Now scientists must find out how a relatively mild virus spread so far, with such horrific effects…

But Uganda, the world capital of viruses, mostly shrugged – after all, malaria-carrying mosquitoes cause the deaths of 100,000 people in the country every year, most of them under five. Earlier this month it was reported that a malaria epidemic was raging in the north of the country, with over a million cases and 658 deaths since July. Meanwhile, 1.5 million Ugandans are infected with another virus, HIV, thousands have Hepatitis B, and there have been outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg.

“Say a million people suffered and 650 people died in one epidemic in a few months in Europe or the US,” said Kampala businessman Sudhir Otada. “What would be the reaction? Is it because we are poor?”

Mukwaya says he was astonished to hear of what was in Uganda a pretty harmless disease evolving into a potential global monster almost overnight on another continent. “I was very surprised by what has happened in Brazil,” he said. “Here it causes only a mild fever. I did not expect it to be that dangerous. It would be extraordinary if it really could spread from mosquito to human to human.”

Source: Zika forest: birthplace of virus that has spread fear across the world | Global development | The Guardian

Transcript for CDC Telebriefing: Zika | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC

MARYN MCKENNA: thanks so much for taking my question.  Dr. Frieden, you said the CDC expects local transmission of Zika in the United States.  Is there anything you can say at this point about the robustness of state and local mosquito control programs?

TOM FRIEDEN: Mosquito control in the U.S.  Is often done by what are called mosquito abatement or abatement districts and quite variable.  Some of them do a superb job, some of them less so.  That’s why it’s so important that we invest in the systems to track and find mosquitos.  This is not easy work.  And I can — although the mosquitos did spread West Nile having worked on that for many years, the different aspects of mosquito control can be quite complex, labor intensive, and really when it comes to both Zika in general and mosquito control specifically, it is not easy, and it is not quick.  For mosquito control, you need to have monitoring of both mosquito larvae and adult mosquito.  That’s a labor intensive complex undertaking, and then you need to control mosquito larvae and adult mosquitos, and that’s a labor intensive and challenging area.  We know from the experience with dengue, you have to get to very high levels of mosquito control to drive down the risk of dengue in the community.

MARYN MCKENNA: My follow-up question this sounds like something you’re concerned about.

TOM FRIEDEN:  Yes, I think it is concerning because of the pregnant women and the developing fetus and because there is such an important need for us to learn more and do more in the U.S., in Puerto Rico and the other territories of the U.S., which have had lots of dengue cases in the past, and that’s a marker for the risk of Zika and around the world. So that we can learn more and partner to address Zika as effectively as possible.

 

 

Source: Transcript for CDC Telebriefing: Zika | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC

BBC World Service – World Update, The man who discovered Ebola gives his verdict on Zika

The man who discovered Ebola gives his verdict on ZikaPeter Piot co-discovered the Ebola virus in 1976 and has led research on the HIV virus. He says the most important thing with Zika is to confirm a link with birth deformations. Carnival season is approaching in Brazil and Dr Piot warns that because it falls during the high transmission period for mosquitoes, the chances of infection are increased.

Source: BBC World Service – World Update, The man who discovered Ebola gives his verdict on Zika