The Zika Update


Current Zika News:

June 26, 2017

Zika in the Americas: ‘Future epidemic waves remain likely’

(Outbreak News Today) A journal article published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene warns the fight against Zika virus (ZIKAV) is not a 100-m race, but rather a marathon in which science and public health need to work hand in hand for the benefit of our peoples.

June 23, 2017

Tissue testing can spot Zika at birth: CDC

(HealthDay News) Exposure to the Zika virus in pregnancy can wreak havoc on babies, but diagnosing the infection before birth remains a challenge. Now, there's some good news: U.S. health officials say testing placental and fetal tissue after a child is born can confirm or rule out infection. 

June 22, 2017

Abbott signs two Zika-related bills

(Valley Star) Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law two bills this month that will vastly improve the state’s response to Zika. The first, Senate Bill 1680, establishes a border task force that will lead to better communication between state and local border health officials. The second, House Bill 3576, will provide more resources to the Department of State Health Services in tracking, studying and preventing the spread of the Zika virus.

June 21, 2017

More counties and states report mosquitoes that can carry diseases, including Zika

(Miami Herald) Two mosquito species known to carry chikungunya, dengue and Zika viruses have been reported in more counties and states across the Southern United States, according to new research and surveillance data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016.

June 19, 2017

Not so fast on those Harris County Zika cases

(Houston Chronicle) The southeast Texas health system that reported on Thursday the first cases of the Zika virus in Harris County in 2017, six then-pregnant women, has backed off the claim. Legacy Community Health, the network of clinics where the women had their blood drawn, announced Friday that an in-depth review since conducted only determined that the expectant mothers were infected with a virus from the family that includes not just Zika but West Nile, dengue and yellow fever, among others.

Mutant mosquitos make insecticide-resistance monitoring key to controlling Zika

(Science Magazine) One of the most common insecticides used in the battle against the Aedes aegypti mosquito has no measurable impact when applied in communities where the mosquito has built up resistance to it, a study led by Emory University finds. The study is the first to show how vital insecticide-resistance monitoring is to control the Aedes mosquito — which carries the viruses that cause Zika, dengue fever and yellow fever. (Image: Science Magazine)

New CDC data shows gaps remain in surveillance for mosquitoes that transmit Zika

(Entomological Society of America) As concerns over Zika virus have grown since 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has turned to local public health professionals to compile data on distribution of the two primary mosquito species capable of transmitting the virus, Aedes aegypti (the primary vector for Zika) and Aedes albopictus.

CU Anschutz and Baylor researchers to study Zika virus impact on children

(University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus) Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the Baylor College of Medicine will join with Guatemalan investigators in a major study examining the clinical outcomes of children infected with the Zika virus after being born, focusing on long-term brain development.

Scientists reveal mechanism behind mosquito-borne-disease 'blocker' used to fight viruses

(Science Daily) A new study from Indiana University may explain how a bacterium called Wolbachia prevents mosquitoes from transmitting deadly diseases such as dengue fever, West Nile virus and Zika. Published today in the journal PLOS Pathogens, the study is one of the first to identify a specific biological mechanism that prevents mosquitoes infected with this bacterium from transmitting diseases to humans.

June 16, 2017

Six pregnant women test positive for Zika in Harris County this year

(Houston Chronicle) Six pregnant women in Harris County have tested positive for Zika, the first cases of the mosquito-borne disease to be reported locally in 2017. All of the women have since delivered their babies, none with the abnormally small head that characterizes the worst form of the disease when the virus is passed on by the mother. The women, who contracted the virus south of the border, were tested because of their risky travel histories, not because they were experiencing Zika symptoms.

Florida congressional members want U.S. Army to hold public hearings on Zika vaccine

(Miami Herald) A bipartisan group of members of Congress from Florida has asked the acting secretary of the U.S. Army to hold public hearings before awarding exclusive rights to a French pharmaceutical manufacturer to develop a Zika vaccine using technology invented by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and funded by American taxpayers. (Image: Miami Herald)

June 15, 2017

Zika-caused microcephaly takes many weeks to show up in prenatal neuroimaging

(HealthImaging) It takes at least 15 weeks for fetuses to develop signs of microcephaly or other problems observable on prenatal imaging after Mom is bitten by a Zika virus-carrying mosquito during her first trimester, according to the authors of a South American study published online in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Aerial mosquito spraying scheduled Thursday for large swath of Miami-Dade

(Miami Herald) Much of Miami-Dade County will get doused with the insecticide naled in a planned flight Thursday to combat an increasing number of mosquitoes. (Image: Miami Herald)

June 14, 2017

Zika viral load not necessarily linked to pregnancy problems, fetal abnormalities

(News-Medical.com) UCLA-led researchers have found that Zika viral load and the degree of Zika symptoms during pregnancy were not necessarily associated with problems during pregnancy or fetal abnormalities at birth. They also found that the presence of antibodies to previously acquired dengue fever was not necessarily connected to abnormalities during pregnancy or at birth.

June 9, 2017

1 in 20 Pregnant Women Infected With Zika Have Babies With Birth Defects: CDC

(HealthDay News) One in 20 women in the U.S. territories who were infected with Zika during pregnancy had babies with serious birth defects, officials reported Thursday. The exact percentage of infants born with these Zika-linked defects depended on when during pregnancy the woman was infected, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Among women infected in the first trimester, 8 percent had a baby with defects; 5 percent in second trimester, and 4 percent in third trimester.

Zika birth defects in US territories similar to other places

(Associated Press) A report released Thursday shows Zika had about the same impact on birth defects in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories as it did in other places hit by the epidemic. About 1 in 20 women infected with Zika had babies with birth defects in U.S. territories, according to the report. That's similar to what was seen in the rest of the United States and in Latin America and the Caribbean in the last two years. (Image: Associated Press)

Singapore confirms two new Zika virus cases

(Reuters) Singapore on Friday confirmed two cases of locally transmitted infections of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, bringing the total number of reported cases in the city-state this year to eight.

June 8, 2017

Zika outlook less dire as disease wanes in Southern Hemisphere

(Houston Chronicle) Zika, the mosquito-borne disease that spread throughout the Americas the past two years, is waning in most of those countries and is less likely to infiltrate the United States, according to leading public health experts. The experts are expressing qualified optimism about the coming season, following new reports that Zika activity is significantly down in the hardest hit countries, which seeded cases in the United States last year.

New test spots Zika virus in under an hour, raising hopes for a speedier response

(Tampa Bay Times) In a development that could significantly quicken the state's reaction to Zika outbreaks, Florida researchers say they have found a way to test for the virus within an hour instead of the weeks it now takes for results. They also say it's easier and cheaper. (Image: Tampa Bay Times)

June 7, 2017

7 babies born so far with Zika complications in Florida

(Orlando Sentinel) In their second year combatting the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that carry it, state officials say they’re better prepared, but they’re also dealing with the consequences of infections, particularly among pregnant women. Seven babies have been born so far in Florida with lifelong neurological complications, health officials revealed Tuesday. The first case was reported in June.

June 6, 2017

Development of a novel vaccine for Zika

(Medical Xpress) Research presented by Farshad Guirakhoo, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, GeoVax, Inc., at the ASM Microbe 2017 meeting showed a new Zika virus vaccine that gives 100% protection in mice. The vaccine is the first to be based on the Zika virus NS1 protein, and the first to show single-dose protection against Zika in an immunocompetent lethal mouse challenge model.

Puerto Rico declares Zika outbreak over, CDC maintains travel warning

(Reuters) Puerto Rico on Monday declared that the 2016 Zika epidemic is over, saying transmission of the virus that can cause birth defects when pregnant women are exposed has fallen significantly. About 10 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported in each four-week period since April 2017, down from more than 8,000 cases reported in a four-week period at the peak of the epidemic in August 2016, the Puerto Rico Health Department said in a statement. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, has not changed its travel advice, noting that pregnant women should not travel to Puerto Rico. (Image: Reuters)

CDC: Zika Researcher Expected for Cameron Co.

(KRGV-TV) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stationing a Zika researcher in Cameron County to help investigate new cases temporarily. Cameron County Assistant Health Administrator Marco Lozano said the Zika case numbers have held steady.

June 5, 2017

Zika tests on Las Vegas-area mosquitoes are negative

(Las Vegas Sun) Mosquitoes known to carry Zika that were discovered in the valley this week have tested negative for the virus, the Southern Nevada Health District said Friday. One of three found was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further confirmation, officials said.

Un invento español revolucionará la lucha contra el zika y otros virus (A Spanish invention may revolutionize the fight against Zika and other viruses)

(EFE) Un novedoso método, elaborado por un grupo de cinco científicos españoles, está llamado a revolucionar la lucha contra diferentes virus trasmitidos por mosquitos, como el zika, el dengue o la chikunguña. (A novel method developed by a group of five Spanish scientists, have announced a breakthrough in the fight against viruses transmitted by mosquitoes like Zika, dengue or Chikungunya.) (Image: EFE)

June 2, 2017

Zika's Set to Return to Mainland U.S., But Budget Cuts Threaten Response

(HealthDay News) The Zika virus will strike the continental United States again this summer, and looming federal budget cuts will make it hard for local officials to curb its spread, public health experts said Wednesday. The experts believe it's a foregone conclusion that more local Zika outbreaks will occur on the U.S. mainland in the coming months, much like what happened in Miami and Brownsville, Texas, last summer.

Zika: Australian plant extract can kill the virus, says study

(HealthWorld) Scientists have discovered a group of naturally occurring compounds in an Australian native plant that can effectively kill the Zika virus. Tests confirmed the compounds halted the virus and stopped it from replicating without damage to host mammalian cells, researchers said. (Image: Queensland University of Technology)

New insights into how the Zika virus causes microcephaly

(Science Daily) A study published today in Science shows that the Zika virus hijacks a human protein called Musashi-1 (MSI1) to allow it to replicate in, and kill, neural stem cells. Almost all MSI1 protein in the developing embryo is produced in the neural stem cells that will eventually develop into the baby's brain, which could explain why these cells are so vulnerable to Zika.

Mosquito that transmits Zika found in Las Vegas Valley

(Las Vegas Sun) A type of mosquito that transmits Zika, dengue and other viruses was identified this week for the first time in Southern Nevada, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. Surveyors found Aedes aegypti mosquitoes Wednesday around North Las Vegas, in the 89032 ZIP code, officials said.

June 1, 2017

Zika testing skyrockets in May, athenahealth data show

(Healthcare IT News) Zika testing rose this month to levels not seen since last August, according to EHR vendor athenahealth. After an average 235 tests during the first part of 2017 nationally, that number shot up to 322 per week, athenahealth said. That was as of May 12, the last date for which the vendor said it had data. (Image: CDC)

Guide to Zika

(San Antonio Express-News) With mosquito season already underway this year, The Express-News has developed a series of stories based on frequent questions about the Zika virus. These stories are meant for people who live in Bexar County and will not apply as directly to those who live in rural Central and South Texas and along the Texas' border with Mexico.

Revelan que el Zika llegó a México desde 2014 (Zika has been in Mexico since 2014, reports say)

(La Journada Aguascalientes) El virus Zika, causante de la enfermedad que lleva su nombre, llegó a México en julio de 2014 directamente de Brasil, revela un estudio filogenético realizado por científicos de siete países, incluyendo investigadores del Instituto de Biotecnología (IBt) de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) y del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS). (The Zika virus, the cause of the disease that bears its name, arrived in Mexico in July 2014 directly from Brazil, according to a phylogenetic study conducted by scientists from seven countries, including researchers from the Institute of Biotechnology (IBt) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).

May 30, 2017

India reports its first 3 cases of the Zika virus

(Associated Press) India has reported its first three cases of the Zika virus, including two pregnant women who delivered healthy babies. The World Health Organization said in a statement Friday that the three cases that India reported to the WHO on May 15 were detected through routine blood surveillance in a hospital in Ahmadabad, Gujarat's capital.

May 26, 2017

Zika infections could be factor in more pregnancies

(University of Wisconsin-Madison) Zika virus infection passes efficiently from a pregnant monkey to its fetus, spreading inflammatory damage throughout the tissues that support the fetus and the fetus's developing nervous system, and suggesting a wider threat in human pregnancies than generally appreciated. (Image: University of Wisconsin-Madison)

What the DNA of the Zika virus tells scientists about its rapid spread

(Los Angeles Times) A family tree can reveal a lot, especially if it belongs to a microscopic troublemaker with a knack for genetic shape-shifting. DNA sleuthing can outline the route an emerging pathogen might take once it makes landfall in the Americas and encounters a wholly unprotected population. It’s a modern take on old-fashioned public health surveillance strategies that focused on the exhaustive collection and analysis of samples from the field. Now they’ve been bolstered by rapid genome sequencing — and the result can be a picture of an epidemic rendered in exquisite detail, and in near-real time.

A Quarter of U.S. Babies With Zika-Related Birth Defects Were Born in New York

(New York Times) A quarter of all infants in the United States born with defects related to the Zika virus were born to women in New York City, city health officials announced on Thursday, a stark reminder of the dangers posed by the virus. Looking ahead to summer and the threat of the resurgent virus spreading through the Caribbean, the New York City Department of Health said that 402 pregnant women had been infected with the virus and that 32 infants had been infected with the virus and 16 of them had Zika-related birth defects since last spring. (Image: New York Times)

Abbott enlists aid of school districts to fight Zika virus

(McAllen Monitor) As the school year draws to a close and mosquito season begins in earnest, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is enlisting the aid of school districts across the state to educate students and their families about the Zika virus.

May 25, 2017

Zika hit Florida months before infections found, study says

(Associated Press) Zika began spreading in Florida mosquitoes about three months before infections showed up in the Miami area last summer, and the virus likely was carried in by travelers from the Caribbean, new research suggests.

May 24, 2017

Public health labs to get help sharing Zika test data electronically 

(Health Data Management) A joint project between the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is attempting to create a national system for order entry and test reporting so that public health labs can interface with providers’ electronic health records, replacing the current manual process between providers and labs.

Health officials urge caution when traveling as Zika remains a threat

(KENS-TV) As summer approaches, so does mosquito season and with the Zika virus still spreading, health officials are urging everyone to not only take preventive measures, but to get tested as well. One of the hardest hit areas with the Zika virus is South Texas.

GAO: Agencies Unprepared for Zika Outbreak

(MedPage Today) Symptomatic of their recent responses to infectious disease outbreaks, federal agencies acted with "a reactive" approach yielding mixed success handling the Zika outbreak. So says a report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Tuesday to coincide with a House subcommittee hearing.

May 22, 2017

Sanofi rejects U.S. Army request for ‘fair’ pricing for a Zika vaccine

(PBS News Hour) Sanofi Pasteur has rejected a request from the US Army to set an affordable US price for a Zika virus vaccine that the company is developing with American taxpayer funds, prompting an angry response from Senator Bernie Sanders. (Image: Reuters)

‘Smart’ Mosquito Trap Used To Prevent Spread Of Zika And West Nile Virus

(Houston Public Radio) Harris County Mosquito Control has four types of traps for its surveys — and one of them is a “smart” trap. This new trap consists of 64 compartments outfitted with an infrared light beam that allows recognition of certain species.  

May 18, 2017

UT researchers develop tool to predict Zika spread in real-time

(WOAI-TV) With spring in the air, so are mosquitoes and fear of the Zika virus. But researchers at the University of Texas, like PhD candidate and co-author Lauren Castro, are hoping to curb the risk with a computer model designed to predict the spread of the virus in real-time.

New Mexico mosquitoes capable of transmitting the Zika virus

(Associated Press) State health officials say mosquitoes capable of transmitting the Zika virus have been found in Dona Ana County. The New Mexico Department of Health says it's the first time this season that the mosquito species has been found in that part of the state.

May 17, 2017

Compound that prevents spread of Zika identified

(IANS) In a step toward a drug to treat Zika infections, researchers have discovered a compound that prevents the virus from spreading. The compound could serve as basis for drugs to prevent neurological complications of Zika.

Alternate Health Announces Completion of Initial Study to Treat Zika Virus Symptoms with Hemp-Derived Cannabinoid

(Canada NewsWire) Alternate Health Corp., a diverse healthcare company revolutionizing patient care and research through compliance and technology in the emerging medical cannabis industry, announced today the completion of its initial study to demonstrate the effectiveness of cannabinoid in treating chronic post-Zika virus symptoms. The study, conducted at the Neubauer Hyperbaric Neurologic Center, evaluated the effectiveness of combining treatment with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) and industrial hemp-derived cannabinoid to alleviate the rare but debilitating chronic post-Zika infection symptoms of pain, fatigue, anxiety, depressive state, and loss of appetite.  

May 16, 2017

Study Finds Knowledge Gaps Among Pregnant Women As Texas Prepares For More Zika Cases

(KUT-FM) According to survey results from a study conducted by University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), many vulnerable women in the state still don’t know what their risk for infection is and how to protect themselves from the mosquito-borne virus that’s been linked to fetal brain defects. (Image: KUT)

Urine test could detect Zika virus quickly, protect unborn babies

(Science Daily) Researchers at Beaumont Health have developed a quick, simple test for Zika virus so easy to administer, you don't even need a doctor. It's a urine test that produces results in under 30 minutes.

May 15, 2017

Fliers issued aim at educating public about Zika

(Valley Morning Star) Fliers are being distributed in Brownsville neighborhoods titled “What You Need To Know About Zika.” The flier mentions the risk to a mother’s pregnancy and what the symptoms are. It also provides helpful tips for getting rid of mosquitoes and preventing bites.

May 12, 2017

Brazil declares end to Zika emergency after fall in cases

(Associated Press) Brazil declared an end to its public health emergency over the Zika virus on Thursday, 18 months after a surge in cases drew headlines around the world. The mosquito-borne virus wasn't considered a major health threat until the 2015 outbreak revealed that Zika can lead to severe birth defects.

Omaha woman infected with Zika delivers healthy baby girl

(WOWT-TV) The first pregnant woman in Nebraska with Zika gave birth to a healthy baby girl Tuesday at Methodist Women’s Hospital. Zika is an infection which can lead to devastating birth defects, but Thursday things couldn't be much better for both Evelyn Suastegui and her new baby, Amy.

May 10, 2017

Texas Skimps on Zika Testing Info — Improvements needed for local level providers

(MedPage Today) Information about Zika testing for providers and patients was available on only a small portion of county health department sites in Texas, researchers reported. Information for providers about how to test patients for Zika was available on less than 10% of Texas' public health region Web sites, but only 3.1% of the 254 Texas county health department Web sites and 5.0% of the 39 metropolitan state health department Web sites, reported Adebayo Adesomo of UT Health San Antonio, and colleagues.

San Antonio Gears Up For Mosquito Season

(Spectrum News) When the mosquitos fly in, Metro Health takes their gear out, spraying the little pests that pose big problems. The humidity creates a hotbed for the parasites that can carry West Nile Virus and more recently, Zika. (Image: Spectrum News)

To Combat Mosquitoes, Metro Health Needs Your Help

(Texas Public Radio) Mosquito season is upon us, made more concerning this year by the spread of the Zika virus to the Rio Grande Valley. The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is fighting the battle against mosquitoes on many fronts.

Zika, dengue may spread at lower temperatures than previously thought: Researchers

(Outbreak News Today) Transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, such as Zika, occur at lower temperatures than previously thought, a recently released study co-authored by two University of South Florida researchers shows. The study, led by Stanford University and published in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, found that transmission of dengue, chikungunya and Zika is highest at around 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists had long considered 90 degrees to be the peak-transmission temperature. (Image: University of South Florida)

Zika-carrying mosquitoes continue to cause concern

(KSAT-TV) As the temperature rises, so do concerns and warnings about mosquitoes and the Zika virus. So far this year, 11 cases of Zika have been reported to the state. One of those is from Bexar County. All are related to travel. The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging community health officials to take precautions.

Zika Risk May Be Lower Than Thought for Some Pregnant Women

(HealthDay News) 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.

1 pregnant woman found to have Zika after DC testing error

(Associated Press) District of Columbia officials say a pregnant woman tested positive for the Zika virus after initially being told she tested negative last year. The city was forced to send more than 400 samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for retesting after a scientist made a math error.

May 9, 2017

3 Retest Positive for Zika in DC; CDC Updates Testing Procedures

(NBC Washington) Retests of 2016 Zika virus tests found three people tested positive for the virus in D.C., and last year's botched tests revealed the Centers for Disease Control's testing procedures did not meet requirements, according to the D.C. Department of Forensic Sciences. (Image: NBC Washington)

Cuba in Action Week Against Mosquito in the Americas

(Prensa Latina) Cuba has launched a week of action against the mosquito in the Americas with a broad program of activities, focused on the elimination of breeding insects transmitters of arbovirus, Aedes aegypti. A conference sponsored by the Pan American Health Organization coincides with the intensive period of confrontation with the vector, as well as the increase of rainfall and high temperatures, which lead to the appearance of the Aedes mosquito, transmission agent of dengue, chikungunya , Zika and malaria.

May 8, 2017

Zika outbreak in Texas ahead of mosquito season

(CBS News) Spring is here and with it comes the threat of Zika, the virus spread by mosquitoes. So far this year, 18 women in the Rio Grande Valley have been infected with the virus linked to birth defects.

Free Zika Testing Offered in Cameron Co.

(KRGV-TV) Zika testing is being offered in Cameron County for free. Cameron County Health officials said many women have tried to get tested but are uninsured. Currently, insurance is not covering Zika tests. The Department of State Health Service’s latest Zika advisory says anyone in the Valley who is experiencing symptoms to get tested, especially if they’re pregnant.

Study Aims to Find Most Mosquito “At Risk” Parts of Area

(KTSA-AM) Phase two of a mosquito study by a Texas A&M University-San Antonio professor and her students is continuing this summer, thanks to a research grant from the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

May 5, 2017

Discovery of a Zika antibody offers hope for a vaccine

(Medical Xpress) A research team based at The Rockefeller University has identified a potent new weapon against the Zika virus in the blood of people who have been infected by it. This discovery could lead to new ways of fighting the disease, including a vaccine. In blood samples taken from subjects in Mexico and Brazil, the scientists found antibodies—proteins produced by the immune system—that block the virus from initiating an infection. (Image: Rockefeller University)

Governor seeks help fighting Zika; meeting to be held in Brownsville

(Brownsville Herald) Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt have sent out letters to county judges and mayors seeking their assistance in help fighting the Zika virus. A roundtable discussion with Abbott, Hellerstedt and local officials will take place on Friday at UTRGV Brownsville campus.

Federal money for state-level Zika tracking, prevention may end this summer

(Kaiser Health News) Money that has helped states with Zika tracking and education may come to an end by this summer, putting at risk efforts to better understand the mostly mosquito-borne virus and the devastating birth defects associated with it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told state health officials in a meeting last month that Zika funding is running out and that additional support should not be expected, according to a news report.

May 4, 2017

Costs of Zika fight rise to nearly $30M in Miami-Dade County

(Associated Press) Miami-Dade County plans to hire a full-time entomologist in its increasingly costly fight against the Zika virus. The Miami Herald reports the county's budget to combat the mosquito-borne virus is nearing $30 million. That figure is based on a contracting request the Miami-Dade County Commission approved Tuesday.

Cheap Test Might Pinpoint Where Zika Mosquitoes Lurk

(HealthDay News) 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. (Image: Colorado State University)

Cost of Zika outbreak in the United States could be high

(Medical Xpress) Even a relatively mild Zika outbreak in the United States could cost more than $183 million in medical costs and productivity losses, suggests a computational analysis led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers, while a more severe one could result in $1.2 billion or more in medical costs and productivity losses.

Zika Care Connect website offers families access to medical specialists

(PR Newswire) Zika Care Connect, a new resource developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the March of Dimes to help families affected by the Zika virus find specialty medical providers who can care for them, has been launched for 10 high-risk jurisdictions throughout the United States and its territories. Access it online at www.zikacareconnect.org or via the March of Dimes website at marchofdimes.org/zika.

Computer model developed to assess risk of a Zika epidemic in real-time

(Medical Xpress) A new model for assessing real-time risk of a Zika virus epidemic in the United States is described in research published in the open access journal BMC Infectious Diseases. The computer simulation, based on data from Texas including population dynamics, historical infection rates, socioeconomics, and mosquito density, is designed to help policymakers gauge the underlying epidemic threat as cases first appear in US cities. (Image: NIAID)

Researchers identify potential Zika virus target

(EurekAlert) New research provides insights into why infection with Zika virus after birth generally causes only mild symptoms, whereas devastating fetal malformations can develop when infection occurs during pregnancy.

May 3, 2017

Zika virus target of public awareness campaigns

(Washington Times) Officials are warning about how to avoid Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases, as warmer temperatures usher in mosquito season. Already this year, 19 cases of Zika have been reported in Maryland and 13 have been reported in the District. Of the Maryland cases, four were in Baltimore and two were on the Eastern Shore.

Pregnant women unaware of Zika basics, Texas study finds

(San Antonio Express-News) Zika's primary victims are developing babies in the womb, but a new survey suggests that many pregnant women don't know basic information or take recommended steps to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne virus. The survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, found that most pregnant women in southeast Texas were unaware the birth defect-causing virus can be spread by sex even if their partner has no symptoms. Many also had little knowledge where they shouldn't travel because of Zika outbreaks.

May 1, 2017

Zika Virus Persists in the Nervous System and Elsewhere

(The Scientist) When the immune system has eliminated the last traces of Zika virus from the blood, low-level infection may continue at certain sites around the body. A study published in Cell today (April 27) reveals that the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is one such sanctuary, which, if also true for infected humans, may have implications for long-term neurological health.

April 28, 2017

Zika hides out in body’s hard-to-reach spots

(Science News) Zika virus plays hard to get. Weeks after the virus disappears from the bloodstream, it still lingers in the lymph nodes and the central nervous system of rhesus monkeys, researchers report online April 27 in Cell. That could help explain why Zika infection can cause neurological problems in both infants and adults.

Will Zika return to Florida this summer? Yes, and it could be worse

(Tampa Bay Times) Wondering what's ahead for Zika? This coming summer will likely look like last summer, when 1,100 travel-related cases were reported statewide, and the virus spread in small pockets of South Florida. But there's a chance it could be worse. (Image: Tampa Bay Times)

Florida officials: No Zika found in mosquito samples so far

(Associated Press) Florida agriculture officials say no mosquitoes in the state have tested positive for the Zika virus so far this year. A statement from the state's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says nearly 90,000 individual mosquitoes have been tested for the virus linked to severe birth defects. None of the mosquitoes from more than 6,500 samples have tested positive for the presence of Zika so far.

The potential economic burden of Zika in the continental United States

(PLOS) As the Zika virus epidemic continues to spread internationally, countries such as the United States must determine how much to invest in prevention, control, and response. Fundamental to these decisions is quantifying the potential economic burden of Zika under different scenarios.

April 27, 2017

March Of Dimes Steps Up Zika Preparedness Campaign

(Texas Public Radio) The Zika virus continues to make headlines after it crept into the U.S., first in Florida and then here in Texas in the city of Brownsville. The mosquito-borne virus can cause devastating birth defects. Now the March of Dimes is making a big push to educate people as the spring mosquito season approaches. (Image: TPR)

Texas Medicaid mosquito repellent benefit aims to protect Texans

(KLBJ-AM) Starting May 1, Texas will begin providing this year’s statewide Medicaid benefit for mosquito repellent to prevent Zika virus transmission. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is offering the repellent to more Medicaid clients to ensure additional Texans are protected from the virus that can be devastating to unborn babies.

UNC-Chapel Hill Partners with CDC on Zika Virus Research

(WCHL) The teratogenic virus known as Zika remains a threat to expectant mothers, but researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill are getting closer to a cure with the help of a recently awarded federal grant. That grant was offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to a virology laboratory staffed by Dr. Matt Collins, whose research focuses on mosquito-borne diseases.

April 26, 2017

Texas Health Officials Say We’re Still ‘Quite Vulnerable’ To Zika This Mosquito Season

(KUT-FM) Mosquito season is upon us, and Texas still isn’t out of the woods when it comes to Zika. The mosquito-borne illness can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it while pregnant. Last year, there were 312 cases of Zika reported in the state. Public health officials say they are more prepared this season and have a better picture of what to expect. Part of the problem, though, is that Zika didn’t really go anywhere. (Image: KUT)

Rep. Guerra’s Zika bill voted out of committee

(McAllen Monitor) A local lawmaker’s bill that would provide more resources for tracking, studying, and preventing the spread of the Zika virus is advancing in the Texas House. Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra’s HB 3576 was unanimously voted out of the House Public Health Committee on Tuesday. The legislation will provide more resources to aid the Department of State Health Services in dealing with the Zika virus.

April 25, 2017

Airports boost efforts to stop spread of Zika: UN agency

(AFP) Airports are stepping up efforts to reduce populations of mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus in order to prevent its spread, the UN aviation agency said Thursday. The Montreal-based agency urged airlines and airport authorities to follow World Health Organisation guidelines on the testing and use of insecticides for aircraft, including new guidance specifically related to the Zika virus. (Image: AFP)

April 21, 2017

Chilean Authorities Find Zika Mosquito for First Time in Decades

(Voice of America) Health authorities in Chile have for the first time in decades found a specimen of the mosquito species responsible for spreading the Zika virus and say more are likely to appear. Chile eradicated the Aedes aegypti mosquito species in 1961 on its mainland and the World Health Organization has said it does not expect the Zika virus to spread to the country.

April 19, 2017

Zika can harm babies' vision, too

(HealthDay News) 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. (Image: HealthDay News)

Florida tests bacteria-infected mosquitoes to kill off bugs

(Associated Press) Thousands of bacteria-infected mosquitoes were released in the wild Tuesday near Key West, testing a new way to kill mosquitoes that carry Zika and other viruses.

Fighting mosquitoes with larvicide, fogging across Bexar County

(KABB-TV) Bexar County's public works director will present her plan for combatting the explosion of mosquitoes expected this year. Warm temperatures and heavy rains this season means we'll see more mosquitoes; pests that can reproduce ever three days and lay up to 300 eggs each time.

Zika virus could be ‘major concern’ in Orange County in 5-8 years without proper mosquito control

(Orange County Register) The spread of the Zika virus, which can cause birth defects, could be a “major concern” within five to eight years in Orange County, according to an Orange County grand jury report published Tuesday, April 18.

April 18, 2017

Another Type of Mosquito May Carry Zika

(HealthDay News) 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.

Epilepsy: Another Potential Zika Threat to Babies

(HealthDay News) 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. (Image: HealthDay News)

April 13, 2017

City Urges Mosquito Control Efforts

(Radio New Braunfels) With warmer weather approaching, the City is urging citizens to continue efforts to help control mosquitoes in our area.  “There are a number of things individuals can do to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile virus or Zika virus,” said Environmental Services Manager Bryan Ruiz. “The most important actions are to eliminate mosquito-breeding areas in your environment and limit your exposure to feeding mosquitoes.”

April 11, 2017

The first live-attenuated vaccine candidate completely protects mice against Zika infection

(Medical Xpress) The first live-attenuated Zika vaccine still in the development stage completely protected mice against the virus after a single vaccination dose, according to new research from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Instituto Evandro Chagas at the Ministry of Health in Brazil. The findings are currently available in Nature Medicine.

Austrian biotech Themis launches Zika vaccine clinical trial

(NASDAQ) Austrian biotech company Themis Bioscience said on Tuesday it had started a clinical trial of an experimental Zika vaccine in healthy volunteers, opening up another front in the race to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne disease. 

April 10, 2017

U.S. blood banks confident blood supply safe from Zika virus

(United Press International) 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. 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. (Image: United Press International)

County health director: Count on more Zika-related birth defects

(Palm Beach Post) More birth defects related to the Zika virus are expected in 2017 in Florida and throughout the U.S. This summer, there will be a full-court press by health officials against Zika.

April 7, 2017

Report says cost of Zika estimated at up to $18 billion

(Associated Press) A new international report says the Zika virus epidemic may be imposing billions of dollars of costs on nations across the Americas. The report issued in New York Thursday by the U.N. Development Program and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says the costs through 2017 alone are likely to total $7 billion to $18 billion.

CDC Issues New Warning On Zika Virus Ahead Of Mosquito Season

(National Public Radio) Zika may seem like last year's problem, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's not. The CDC published a study this week on where we are with Zika in the U.S., and the findings are striking.

April 5, 2017

51 Babies Born With Zika-Related Birth Defects In The U.S. Last Year

(National Public Radio) Health officials have published the first comprehensive view of Zika-linked birth defects occurring in the U.S. The study is the largest so far to estimate the risk of severe birth defects from Zika infections in pregnant women, researchers report Wednesday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. (Image: Associated Press)

Scientists Probe Zika's Path to the Fetus

(HealthDay News) 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.

Zika Virus Link to Neurologic Disorders Needs Further Investigation

(HealthDay News) The causal links between Zika virus (ZIKV) infection, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and microcephaly need to be further clarified, according to a letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

WHO Coordinates Study on the Persistence of Zika Virus in Body Fluids

(Infection Control Today) Zika virus is the first virus known to be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito and through sex with an infected person. Over the course of 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO), along with the global research community, quickly built evidence that Zika virus transmission through sex was not only possible, but more common than previously assumed.  But many questions still remain unanswered: How long does the virus stay in the body? Could the virus remain dormant in a person and reappear at a later stage? WHO is coordinating a research study in Brazil, called ZikaBra, to address these questions. The answers will help WHO sharpen its recommendations on how best to prevent Zika virus infection. (Image: WHO)

Brasil registró 165 casos de microcefalia por zika en primer trimestre 2017 (Brazil reports 165 cases of microceopahly from the Zika virus in the first three months of 2017)

(EFE) Brasil registró al menos 165 casos de bebés con microcefalia relacionada con el virus del Zika entre enero y marzo de este año, según un informe del Ministerio de Salud divulgado hoy. (Brazil reported less than 165 cases of babies with microcephaly related to the Zika virus between January and March of this year, according to a report from the Health Ministry today.)

April 4, 2017

Miami-Dade outlines aggressive mosquito control plan

(Associated Press) No disease-carrying mosquitoes have been found so far this year in the Miami area, but officials are prepared to launch aerial pesticide spraying to stamp out any reemergence of Zika, according to the head of mosquito control in the first U.S. county to report transmission of the virus linked to severe birth defects. (Image: Associated Press)

April 3, 2017

US enrolls volunteers in large test of possible Zika vaccine

(Associated Press) U.S. health officials have begun enrolling volunteers for critical next-stage testing of an experimental vaccine to protect against Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that can cause devastating birth defects in pregnant women. The first volunteer was vaccinated Wednesday at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, as the National Institutes of Health gears up for a two-part study that aims to enroll at least 2,400 people in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and five at-risk countries: Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Peru.

March 31, 2017

City accepts grant to fight Zika virus

(KABB-TV) The city of San Antonio has accepted more than $700,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fight Zika in Bexar County. Thursday City Council approved Metro Health accepting this grant. Metro Health Director Colleen Bridger says the grant will go towards preventing and responding to the spread of Zika.

Zika Vaccine Enters Phase 2 Trial

(MD magazine) A vaccine for Zika is entering phase 2 trials, according to Anthony Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Speaking today at the opening ceremony of the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting in San Diego, Fauci said the official announcement would be made by the agency March 31. (Image: MD magazine)

Prior exposure to dengue or West Nile could make Zika worse: report

(Reuters) Prior infection with West Nile or dengue - two viruses closely related to Zika - can make Zika symptoms worse, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. The findings in mice, published in the journal Science, confirm studies in cells suggesting that prior infection with dengue could worsen the effects of Zika.

March 30, 2017

Cases of Zika-Linked Birth Defects Dropped in Brazil in 2016

(HealthDay News) Brazil experienced a smaller-than-expected increase in cases of microcephaly in 2016, despite the continued spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Researchers predicted 1,133 cases of microcephaly would occur between May and December 2016, but only 83 cases were reported by local health officials, said senior researcher Christopher Dye.

March 29, 2017

How UCR discovery could help fight Zika virus

(Los Angeles Daily News) University of California Riverside scientists have discovered a weak spot in the crystal structure of the Zika virus, an Achilles’ heel that could lead to development of the first drugs to fight the disease. Researchers used a similar weak spot in the dengue virus to make an anti-viral drug that prevents the virus from replicating, which could provide a model for the anti-Zika efforts. (Image: University of California Riverside)

Baby born in San Diego With Birth Defects From Zika

(County of San Diego, California) Pregnant women, women who could become pregnant and couples considering pregnancy are advised to avoid traveling to areas with known Zika transmission after a baby with the severe birth defect microcephaly was born in San Diego County.

March 28, 2017

Zika Virus Not a Worry to Americans

(Gallup) Fewer than one in 10 Americans believe it is likely that they will get the Zika virus. This is in contrast to previous polls in which more Americans believed they were likely to get Ebola or the swine flu, two other high-profile viruses.

Addressing the threat of Zika virus to US blood supply

(Science Daily) Certain screening methods that detect the genetic material of Zika virus can be used to ensure that donated blood supplies remain free of the virus, investigators have shown. (Image: NIAID)

Florida officials: Aggressive efforts to stop Zika continue

(Associated Press) Florida officials say they're continuing aggressive efforts to stop the spread of the Zika virus. Gov. Rick Scott met Monday with Miami-Dade County officials to discuss Zika preparedness ahead of Florida's rainy season, when mosquitoes are most prevalent.

American Samoa could be a model for responding to Zika outbreaks

(Pacific Islands News Association) Syndromic and enhanced surveillance employed during a Zika outbreak in American Samoa last year is credited for bringing a quick end to ongoing transmission and could be used to predict when ongoing transmission in similarly small populations will end.

March 27, 2017

Zika mosquito genome mapped – at last

(Nature) As the Zika virus raced across the Western Hemisphere in 2015 and 2016, geneticists eager to battle the outbreak felt crippled. The genome sequence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads Zika was incomplete and consisted of thousands of short DNA fragments, hampering research efforts. With help from a new technique for stitching together genome sequences, scientists have finally ‘assembled’ the genome of A. aegypti as well as that of Culex quinquefasciatus, a mosquito that transmits West Nile virus.

March 23, 2017

Counties in Southern U.S. States Face Highest Risk of Zika Infections

(Infection Control Today) Researchers have examined where and how transmission of Zika virus is most likely to occur in the contiguous United States. Results found 507 counties that had the highest risk of virus exposure via mosquito bites or unprotected sexual activity. The counties were concentrated in southern states extending northward along the Atlantic coast and southern California, with the highest predicted risk in Mississippi counties.

Animated Video for Zika Virus Prevention

(International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) The IFRC Americas Regional Office, through its Zika Operation, produced a community engagement and accountability tool to inform and educate communities about the Zika virus and its prevention methods. The tool includes an animated video with a community user guide for volunteers. (Image: IFRC)

March 21, 2017

Use of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Considered in Houston

(Associated Press) Officials are considering releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in Houston as part of the fight against the insects known to carry diseases such as the Zika virus. The Houston Chronicle reports that Harris County officials are negotiating with a British biotech company, Oxitec, to release mosquitoes that have been genetically engineered to produce offspring that die.

Florida reports new case of locally acquired Zika infection

(Orlando Sentinel) Florida health officials reported a new locally acquired Zika infection in Miami-Dade County on Monday, as well as four new travel-related cases in South Florida. The person infected in Miami-Dade had “multiple exposures” to areas where mosquitoes were spreading the virus and likely contracted the mosquito-borne Zika virus in 2016, according to the Florida Department of Health. The person did not feel any symptoms, but was tested for the virus in February and state health officials just received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Image: Orlando Sentinel)

GeoVax Reports Promising Results for Zika Vaccine

(Canadian Business Journal) GeoVax Labs, Inc. a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, announces a major step forward in the development of a vaccine candidate for protection against Zika virus (ZIKV). Preliminary testing in a highly rigorous challenge model showed the candidate, GEO-ZM02, provided 100% protection to mice infected with a lethal dose of ZIKV. The study was funded by a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which also provided technical assistance.

Testing For Zika Virus: There’s An App For That

(Eurasia Review) Add rapid, mobile testing for Zika and other viruses to the list of things that smartphone technology is making possible. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a smartphone-controlled, battery-operated diagnostic device that weighs under a pound, costs as little as $100 and can detect Zika, dengue and chikungunya within 30 minutes. (Image: Eurasia Review)

March 20, 2017

Cuban woman has first known homegrown Zika case

(AFP) A young Havana woman is the first known person to have contracted the Zika virus in Cuba, authorities said. The woman, 21, has been hospitalized though she so far does not have symptoms, the health ministry said. So far, five people have been diagnosed with the virus in Cuba. The other patients contracted Zika in Venezuela. (Image: AFP)

Five women who may have been infected with Zika, but were told by D.C. they were healthy, have given birth

(Washington Post) At least one woman with the Zika virus and four others who may have been infected but were mistakenly told last year they were healthy — because of botched tests at a D.C. government lab — have since given birth, according to health-care providers. There have been no reports of babies born in the District during that time with microcephaly, the extreme neurological disorder associated with Zika that causes a baby’s head to be small.

March 17, 2017

Human antibody for Zika virus promising for treatment, prevention

(Medical Xpress) Researchers have determined the structure of a human antibody bound to the Zika virus, revealing details about how the antibody interferes with the infection mechanism—findings that could aid in development of antiviral medications.

13 New West Texas Counties Found to Have the Type of Mosquitoes That Can Carry Zika

(Everything Lubbock) Texas Tech University's Biological Threat Research Laboratory has identified the types of mosquitoes that can carry Zika virus in thirteen new counties on the South and High Plains. That means each of those thirteen counties is home to either one or both of the types of mosquitoes which carry Zika: aedes albopictus and aedes aegypti.

March 16, 2017

2 New Zika Cases Confirmed in Cameron Co.

(KRGV-TV) There are seven new Zika cases in the state of Texas and two of them are from Cameron County. The total confirmed cases in the county now stands at 31, with the combining numbers of travel and locally acquired cases. (Image: KRGV-TV)

Zika Detector Device Being Developed By FAU Researchers

(Health News Florida) A small group of researchers at Florida Atlantic University is developing a small device that could help detect the Zika virus within just a few minutes and at a very low cost that could be available for use as early as next summer.

March 15, 2017

Three cases of Zika reported in Yorkshire as total number of patients with virus reaches 53

(Daily Mail) Fifty-three cases of the Zika virus have now been reported in Britain, health officials revealed yesterday. It is thought that all of those who have been affected by the virus had recently travelled back from abroad. In the most recent cases, a hospital trust said three patients had been treated for the virus in Yorkshire.

March 14, 2017

Zika risk went beyond Florida's Miami-Dade County: U.S. officials

(Reuters) Local transmission of the Zika virus in Florida may have occurred as early as June 15 of last year and likely infected people who lived not only in Miami-Dade County, but in two nearby counties, U.S. health officials said on Monday. (Image: Reuters)

CDC: Don't donate sperm in 3 Florida counties due to Zika

(Associated Press) Men from three Florida counties shouldn't donate sperm because of a small risk of spreading Zika, U.S. health officials said Monday. The guidance had previously applied to Miami-Dade County, the only place in Florida where there's evidence the virus was spread by mosquitoes. But infections were reported in people in South Florida who couldn't clearly be linked to Miami-Dade.

Report: 2 pregnant Utah women with Zika lost their babies

(Associated Press) In the past five months, two pregnant women in Utah lost their babies in the first trimester after contracting Zika, according to a state health department report released Monday. The report by Utah's department of health shows that since the beginning of last year, 11 pregnant women have contracted Zika in Utah.

March 13, 2017

Miami-Dade monitors mosquitoes in 4 former Zika zones

(Associated Press) Miami-Dade County officials are monitoring four zones in the Miami area where the Zika virus spread through local mosquitoes. In a statement Friday, officials said an enhanced mosquito surveillance network includes more than 130 traps in the Wynwood, Little River and Miami Beach zones, as well as countywide. The traps provide data on mosquito activity.

Zika: CDC issues travel notices for Angola, Solomon Islands, others

(Outbreak News Today) Local transmission of Zika virus in four countries has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issue advisories for travelers to Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives and Solomon Islands.

March 10, 2017

Doctors tie Zika virus to heart problems in some adults

(Associated Press) For the first time, doctors have tied infection with the Zika virus to possible new heart problems in adults. The evidence so far is only in eight people in Venezuela, and is not enough to prove a link. It's also too soon to know how often this might be happening. The biggest trouble the mosquito-borne virus has been causing is for pregnant women and their fetuses. (Photo: Associated Press)

Researchers hone in on when, where Zika virus attacks

(PR Newswire) The Zika virus attacks tissues in the nervous system, male and female reproductive and urinary tracts, muscles, joints and lymph nodes, and persists for at least 35 days, according to a study conducted in a nonhuman primate model by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at OHSU in Portland, Oregon. The research, published today in Public Library of Science Pathogens, furthers understanding of where and at what precise point in time the virus attacks.

March 9, 2017

An outbreak in Brazil has U.S. health experts wondering if yellow fever could be the next Zika

(Los Angeles Times) Yellow fever has broken out in the jungles outside Brazil’s most densely-populated cities, raising a frightening but still remote possibility: an epidemic that could decimate that country’s population and spread throughout the Americas, including the United States. (Image: Los Angeles Times)

Zika virus protection by a single low-dose nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccination

(Nature) Zika virus (ZIKV) has recently emerged as a pandemic associated with severe neuropathology in newborns and adults. There are no ZIKV-specific treatments or preventatives. Therefore, the development of a safe and effective vaccine is a high priority. Messenger RNA (mRNA) has emerged as a versatile and highly effective platform to deliver vaccine antigens and therapeutic proteins.

March 7, 2017

Genomics Reveal Surprises About Florida Zika Outbreak

(Medscape) The Zika virus outbreak in the United States in 2016 was caused by multiple infected travelers arriving in South Florida, not by a single "patient zero," genomic research has revealed. Reporting here at the 10th Future of Genomic Medicine Conference, Kristian Andersen, PhD, from Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California, and his team identified four different "introductions" of the Zika virus during the outbreak using genomic sequencing by testing samples from 17 people.

March 6, 2017

Zika complications in Canadian travelers surprise researcher

(CBC) Canadian adults who went to travel medicine clinics sick with the Zika infection show a range of concerns including severe complications, a new study suggests. A common perception is that Zika is associated with mild symptoms. But that was not borne out among the 1,118 travellers who visited travel medicine clinics at cities in British Columbia through Quebec from October 2015 to September 2016.  

March 3, 2017

Zika caused twenty-fold spike in birth defects -US study

(Reuters) Rates of microcephaly and certain other birth defects were 20 times higher in pregnancies affected by Zika compared with pregnancies in years before the virus arrived in the Americas, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

Florida reports three Zika cases in Miami as CDC says virus increased birth defects

(Miami Herald) On the heels of a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that Zika has increased the rate of birth defects in the United States, Florida health officials on Thursday reported three more cases of the virus that were locally acquired in Miami-Dade — two infections dating to October 2016 and the first one of 2017.

March 1, 2017

More mosquito species than previously thought may transmit Zika

(MedicalXpress) Zika virus could be transmitted by more mosquito species than those currently known, according to a new predictive model created by ecologists at the University of Georgia and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Their findings, published today in the journal eLife, offer a list of 26 additional potential candidate species—including seven that occur in the continental United States—that the authors suggest should be the first priority for further research. (Image: University of Georgia, Professor John Drake)

Feb. 28, 2017

Hidalgo Co. Encourages Control of Mosquito Breeding Grounds

(KRGV-TV) Hidalgo County city leaders along with health officials are encouraging people to do what they can to keep mosquitoes from breeding. Officials announced a positive Zika case out of McAllen last week. The infected person said they have no travel history outside of Hidalgo County. However, health officials are still investigating how the person contracted the virus.

CDC Foundation Donors Come Together to Support Summit Focused on Vector Control Strategies for Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes

(CDC Foundation) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit a variety of dangerous viruses, including yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and Zika, which in 2015-16 spread rapidly in certain parts of the world. Today, new strategies are needed to control these mosquitoes, which are prevalent in many countries with tropical climates and in a number of U.S. states and territories. To further the search for innovative strategies to control Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting a two-day summit, which kicked off today in Atlanta. The CDC Foundation is co-hosting the summit with support from Bayer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Oak Foundation, Orkin and SC Johnson.

Feb. 27, 2017

Possible Zika case in McAllen

(McAllen Monitor) A possible local case of the Zika virus that was reported to the county health department on Wednesday is being investigated by the city and Hidalgo County. A private lab test confirmed a positive test for the virus, but the city and county are waiting for the state to confirm.

Feb. 24, 2017

To Test Zika Vaccines, Scientists Need A New Outbreak

(National Public Radio) Researchers are eager to test promising vaccines against Zika, the virus that sparked a global health emergency last year.  But uncertainty over whether the Zika epidemic will continue affects researchers' ability to finish testing vaccines. They need locations with an active viral outbreak to conduct large-scale human trials and make sure the vaccine actually protects against disease. (Image: Getty)

Wayne State vision researchers show Zika virus can damage retina and cause blindness

(Wayne State University) Scientists at the Wayne State University School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology at the Kresge Eye Institute are the first to show that the Zika virus (ZIKV) can replicate in the eye’s retinal cells, causing severe tissue damage and even blindness in some cases.

Cameron Co. Health Department Seeing Insufficient Zika State Funds

(KRGV-TV) Cameron County officials said their fight against the Zika virus is beginning to feel forgotten. The health administrator said the state is providing more funding to other counties farther from the border. (Image: KRGV-TV)

Researchers Aim to Disrupt Egg Production in Dengue- and Zika-Spreading Mosquito

(Infection Control Today) The mosquito Aedes aegypti, which can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika fever, and yellow fever virus, requires a blood meal to develop eggs. One way to control the spread of these diseases is to tamper with the reproductive events that follow this mosquito's blood meal. This is what a team of scientists at the University of California, Riverside has explored at the molecular level. The researchers focused on small regulatory RNA molecules, called microRNAs, which play a critical role in mosquito egg maturation.

Feb. 23, 2017

Yale study: Zika may affect male fertility

(Connecticut Post) The mosquito-borne Zika virus doesn’t only lead to birth defects, it could also lead to fertility problems in males. Well, in male mice, at least. A Yale University study found the virus reduced the size of testes — a condition known as testicular atrophy — in infected mice for up to 21 days. This can allow for sexual transmission of the virus and may impair male fertility.

Feb. 22, 2017

Research teams hone in on Zika vaccines, but challenges remain

(Medical Xpress) As public health officials warn that spring's warmer temperatures may herald another increase of Zika virus infections in the Caribbean and North and South America, researchers around the world are racing to develop safe and effective measures to prevent the disease. In a review paper published today in the journal Immunity, a group of leading vaccine scientists—including Dan H. Barouch, MD, PhD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC)—outline advances in the hunt for a Zika vaccine and the challenges that still lie ahead. (Image: NIAID)

Nordtrees 2nd Zika Conference Focuses on Preparedness Efforts and More Than 20 Breakout Sessions, Presentations, Posters and an All Day Hands-On Workshop

(DMN Newswire) Zika Virus experts from the around the world will once again collaborate and address issues on ZIKV planning and preparedness in the 2nd International Zika Virus Conference to be held at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport Hotel, March 29-30 and will be followed by all day hands-on workshops on the 31st.

Can North American animals such as rabbits, cows, or pigs serve as hosts for Zika virus?

(Medical Xpress) The mosquito-borne Zika virus might be able to infect and reproduce in a variety of common animal species, and a new study looked at 16 different types of animals, including goats, pigeons, raccoons, and ducks, to determine their potential to serve as hosts for Zika virus. Understanding possible transmission routes and the role that animal infections could play in the transmission and spread of Zika virus is crucial for effective surveillance and prevention efforts, as described in an article published in Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 

Feb. 21, 2017

Zika may cause miscarriages, thin brain tissue in babies carried to term

(MedicalXpress) Johns Hopkins researchers say that in early pregnancy in mice with complete immune systems, Zika virus can cross the placenta—intended to protect the developing fetus—and appears to lead to a high percentage of miscarriages and to babies born with thin brain tissue and inflammation in brain cells.

NIH workshop identifies complex health problems among Zika-affected infants

(National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Children exposed to Zika virus in the womb may face complex health and developmental problems as they grow older, according to discussions at a National Institutes of Health workshop. A summary of the proceedings, authored by researchers from NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), is available in the latest issue of JAMA Pediatrics. (Infographic: NIH)

 

Feb. 20, 2017

Adaptable model recommends response strategies for Zika, other pandemics

(Outbreak News Today) Eva Lee, professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech and director of the Center for Operations Research in Medicine and Healthcare, has developed a biological-behavioral-operational computer model to help policy makers choose the best intervention strategies to rapidly contain an infectious disease outbreak. Her analysis covers the dynamics of disease transmission across different environments and social settings. The modeling system gives on-the-ground policymakers critical information about how to mitigate infection, monitor risk and trace disease during a pandemic.

Feb. 17, 2017

Botched tests lead to retesting for Zika in nation's capital

(Associated Press) More than 400 people in the District of Columbia who were told last year they didn't have the Zika virus are being retested because of a human error in the testing process, federal and city officials said Thursday, and two pregnant women were told after subsequent tests that they may have had Zika after all.

UTMB scientists uncover how Zika virus causes microcephaly

(Press Release Pont) A multidisciplinary team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has uncovered the mechanisms that the Zika virus uses to alter brain development. These findings are detailed in Stem Cell Reports.

DEET Works Against Zika-infected Mosquitoes, but High Doses are Best

(University of California Davis) If you’re traveling to, or living in, a Zika virus-infested area, it’s far better to use the mosquito repellent DEET rather than Picaridin and to use higher doses of DEET because lower doses do not work well with older mosquitoes. That’s the conclusion of a study by chemical ecologist and mosquito researcher Walter Leal, distinguished professor in molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Davis, and his colleagues at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Recife, Brazil. (Image: University of California Davis)

New mosquito trap smart enough to keep just the bad bugs

(Associated Press) A new high-tech mosquito trap version is promising to catch the bloodsuckers while letting friendlier insects escape - and even record the exact weather conditions when different species emerge to bite. Whether it really could improve public health is still to be determined. But when the robotic traps were pilot-tested around Houston last summer, they accurately captured particular mosquito species - those capable of spreading the Zika virus and certain other diseases - that health officials wanted to track, researchers reported Thursday.

Feb. 15, 2017

Zika RNA Lasts Longer Than Expected in Blood

(New England Journal of Medicine) The Zika virus appears to persist in serum longer than expected, according to a cohort study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.

Spotlight Innovation Licenses Additional Anti-Zika Virus Compounds

(PR Newswire) Spotlight Innovation Inc. (OTCQB: STLT) today announced that it has entered into a second license agreement with the Florida State University Research Foundation (FSURF) for the development and commercialization of additional anti-Zika virus compounds. (Image: PR Newswire)

Feb. 13, 2017

Funds will help fight Zika virus

(Laredo Morning Times) Congressman Henry Cuellar announced Friday the allocation of $560,000 in federal funding to fight the Zika virus on the border. Congress provided $394 million to the CDC as part of the Zika supplemental funding bill. These funds were part of a $25 million federal allocation for Zika preparedness to the Texas Department of State Health Services, about $10 million of which is flagged for local jurisdictions including 16 health departments. (Image: Laredo Morning Times)

Zika Cases in the U.S. Now Stand at 5,001, With 36,638 Reported in U.S. Territories

(Meetings & Conventions) The latest update from the Arboviral Disease Branch of the federal Centers for Disease Control shows a new total of 5,001 cases of the Zika virus reported in the United States and Washington, D.C., from Jan. 1, 2015, through Feb. 8, 2017, up from 4,866 through Jan. 11 and 36,638 cases reported in the U.S. territories (mostly in Puerto Rico), up from 35,280 last month.

Galveston gets $600k to up its fight against Zika

(Houston Chronicle) Health officials in Galveston County were awarded a $613,000 federal grant to use to fight the spread of the Zika virus. In 2016, the county reported at least nine cases of the nearly 100 virus cases to hit the Houston region.

Feb. 10, 2017

Studies highlight microcephaly data, Zika spread by breast milk, saliva

(CIDRAP) Though Zika outbreak developments have tailed off in recent months, research activity to better understand the risk and spread continues at a brisk pace, with a research team from New York today reporting on baseline microcephaly findings and other groups reporting on the virus in breast milk and in oropharyngeal secretions.

Zika doctor warns Brazil against lowering guard on birth defects

(Reuters) The doctor who first linked the Zika virus to birth defects says Brazil has too quickly forgotten the tragedy of 2,000 babies born with smaller-than-normal heads and runs the risk of a second wave of infections if the virus mutates. (Image: Reuters)

Feb. 9, 2017

Continuing Coverage: Preparing For Zika In Texas

(Texas Public Radio) This year more than 100 Texans have become infected with Zika, a virus that can cause severe deformities in unborn babies, and there’s concern that number could rise exponentially. What should young couples, pregnant or considering pregnancy, do?  How are public officials monitoring the mosquito population that transmits Zika? How would Texas respond to an outbreak, and what can we personally do to protect our families and communities?

Angola reports Zika related microcephaly case

(Outbreak News Today) Health officials in Angola have reported a Zika virus related microcephaly case from Bengo province, according to a Prensa Latina report. Eusebio Manuel, head of the Department of Health and Epidemiological Surveillance of the Ministry of Health, was quoted as saying, “The disease was diagnosed in the neighboring province of Bengo and reconfirmed in the capital of Luanda.”

Feb. 8, 2017

2nd International Zika Virus Conference & Workshop to Be Held in Washington, DC, March 29-31

(Business Wire) The 2nd International Zika Virus Conference (iZIKVc) is set to take place in Washington, DC on March 29-30, 2017, followed by all-day hands-on workshop on the 31st, Nordtree officials announced today. The event will be held at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport Hotel in Herndon, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. The event is a follow up on the successful primary installment that has gathered a panel of experts to expound on the newest findings and solutions about the Zika virus.

Feb. 6, 2017

Mexico confirms first case of Zika-related birth defect

(Associated Press) Mexico's health ministry has confirmed the first case of a Zika-related severe birth defect known as microcephaly. The ministry said in a statement Friday that the child was premature and died at birth.

How one city in Puerto Rico is fighting Zika — without using chemicals

(Miami Herald) For the last several weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been working with the local government to turn Caguas, Puerto Rico, into a mosquito graveyard deadly enough to kill the spread of the Zika virus. (Image: Miami Herald)

Feb. 3, 2017

Zika virus blindfolds immune alarm cells

(MedicalXpress) Gatekeeper immune cells are fighting Zika virus with an arm tied behind their backs, scientists from Emory Vaccine Center report. Dendritic cells are "sentinel" cells that alert the rest of the immune system when they detect viral infection. When Zika virus infects them, it shuts down interferon signaling, one route for mustering the antiviral troops.

One-Dose Zika Vaccine Protects Laboratory Animals

(VOA News) An experimental Zika vaccine has been shown to be 100 percent effective in protecting laboratory animals from the virus, according to researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Scientists say one dose of the vaccine prevents transmission of the Zika virus in the animals tested, and it appears to be a potentially powerful weapon in the global war against Zika.

Feb. 2, 2017

Zika ebbing in Latin America but vigilance needed: WHO

(Reuters) Brazil and Latin America are recording lower numbers of Zika infections than last year, but all countries must remain vigilant against the virus which can cause birth defects, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. (Image: Reuters)

Abbott Says FDA Oks Molecular Test To Detect Zika Virus In Whole Blood

(RTT News) Abbott said Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized its molecular test, the Abbott RealTime ZIKA test, to detect Zika virus in whole blood for emergency use.

Feb. 1, 2017

Map of Zika virus reveals how it shifts as it matures

(Science News) Before an immature Zika virus becomes infectious, it does some major remodeling. It’s the first time scientists have seen such rearrangement in the core of a flavivirus, the group that also includes the viruses that cause dengue, West Nile and yellow fever, says virologist Richard Kuhn of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. (Image: Science News)

One year on since Zika emergency, Vietnam faces new infections

(CNBC) One year ago today, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the mosquito-borne virus known as Zika an international public health emergency. Zika is no longer classified as a crisis, according to a WHO statement in November, but despite the best efforts of health officials, the number of global infections continues to rise. Vietnam in particular has faced a high number of outbreaks over the past month.

Jan. 31, 2017

B.C. health experts warn about travel to Mexico as Zika cases rise to 47

(Vancouver Sun) The number of lab-confirmed Zika cases among B.C. residents has quadrupled in the last six months – from 11 to 47 – including three pregnant women. All of the B.C. cases occurred in people who travelled to places where Zika was endemic, mostly Mexico because it is such a popular destination. (Image: Vancouver Sun)

Connecticut agency monitoring 30 babies born to Zika mothers

(Associated Press) The Connecticut Department of Public Health says it's monitoring 30 babies born to mothers who tested positive for Zika. The agency said Monday the babies were born in Connecticut or currently reside there. The mothers tested positive for Zika virus or Flavivirus during their pregnancies. None of the women contracted the virus in Connecticut.

Unicef solicita 31 millones de dólares para ayudar a niños afectados por zika (UNICEF seeking $31 million to help children affected by Zika)

(EFE) Unicef solicitó hoy 31 millones de dólares a los países donantes para ayudar a las familias con menores afectados por el virus del Zika y para programas de movilización social para prevenir el contagio en América Latina. (UNICEF today requested $31 million from donor countries to help families with children affected by the Zika virus, and for social programs to prevent the spread of the virus in Latin America.)

Epidemiological Update Zika virus infection

(World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization) Since epidemiological week (EW) 44 of 2016, no additional countries or territories of the Americas have confirmed autochthonous, vector-borne transmission of Zika virus disease. To date, 48 countries and territories in the Americas have confirmed autochthonous, vector-borne transmission of Zika virus disease since 2015. In addition, five countries in the Americas have reported sexually transmitted Zika cases. (Image: PAHO)

 

Jan. 30, 2017

Marshall Islands declares health emergency

(Radio New Zealand) The Marshall Islands has declared a health emergency to respond to recent outbreaks of Hepatitis A and the Zika virus.

City: Travel-related Zika case reported in Lubbock

(FOX 34 Lubbock) The City of Lubbock Health Department (COLHD) has confirmed the Zika virus in a resident who recently returned from travel outside of the United States. The individual developed symptoms that are often associated with the Zika virus, which include: fever, rash and joint pain. This is a travel-associated case and there is no increased risk of Zika to area residents.

Jan. 26, 2017

Zika outbreak will worsen before it gets better, WHO head says

(Asia One Health) The head of the World Health Organisation warned Wednesday that the Zika outbreak would likely worsen before nations besieged by the mosquito-borne virus linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil see relief.

First non-travel-related Zika virus in pregnant Texas woman confirmed

(KSAT-TV) The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed the first Zika virus infection of a Bexar County woman who did not travel outside the state.

First Case of Zika-Linked Glaucoma Diagnosed in Infant

(HealthDay News)  The first case of an infant who developed glaucoma after being exposed to the Zika virus while in the womb has been reported by an international team of researchers.

Jan. 19, 2017

UTMB researcher is co-inventor of a faster and more accurate test for diagnosing Zika

(Press Release Point) Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center, have developed a new detection test for Zika that is faster and more accurate than currently available tests. The new test can detect Zika in a very small sample of blood in less than four hours. The new test is detailed in EBioMedicine.

Jan. 18, 2017

Penn study identifies potent inhibitor of Zika entry into human cells

(University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine) A panel of small molecules that inhibit Zika virus infection, including one that stands out as a potent inhibitor of Zika viral entry into relevant human cell types, was discovered by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

UTRGV awarded $500K to help CDC research Zika virus

(Brownsville Herald) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding nearly $40 million to four consortiums to create research centers that will help address Zika in the United States. One of those Centers of Excellence will be the Western Gulf Center, which will include the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Jan. 17, 2016

T cells join the fight against Zika

(Science Daily) The worst of the global Zika virus outbreak may be over but many key questions remain, such as why the virus persists in certain tissues after the systemic infection has cleared; how does the immune system counteract the virus and protect against reinfection; what determines the likelihood of long-term complications?

Jan. 13, 2017

Doctors publish study of first locally-acquired Zika transmission

(MedicalXpress) Following the recent Zika outbreak in Miami-Dade County, a multidisciplinary team of physicians with the University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine published a case study today in The New England Journal of Medicine, describing in detail the nation's first locally-transmitted case of Zika.

Connecticut’s Protein Sciences making headway on Zika vaccine

(Middletown Press) Officials with Protein Sciences Corp. said Thursday that a Zika vaccine the company is making has done well in pre-clinical trials and could begin being tested on humans by April.

Zika fears fading, renewed interest in Caribbean and Mexico

(Hamilton Spectator) For hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico, the news came in time for their peak season: On Nov. 18, the World Health Organization declared that Zika was no longer a global health emergency and should be considered a dangerous mosquito-borne virus.

Jan. 11, 2017

Zika mRNA vaccine enters clinical trial; Angola reports cases

(CIDRAP, University of Minnesota) A candidate Zika virus vaccine supported by the US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has entered a phase 1 trial, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) said yesterday in a statement, while Angola has reported Zika cases.

"Imported zika virus" may have landed in far north Qld

(Northern Star – Australia) Health authorities are ­investigating a suspected case of imported zika virus on Thursday Island. Tropical Public Health Services director Dr Richard Gair said there was also a chance the Thursday Island resident had contracted dengue fever and not zika.

Jan. 10, 2017

New Findings Detail Structure of Immature Zika Virus

(Infection Control Today) Researchers at Purdue University have determined the high-resolution structure of immature Zika virus, a step toward better understanding how the virus infects host cells and spreads. (Image: Purdue University)

Zika may get pandemic in Vietnam in 2017: health official

(Xinhua) The Zika virus may get pandemic in Vietnam in 2017 as the country has source of infection and vectors that are mosquitoes causing dengue fever, said Tran Dac Phu, head of Vietnam's Ministry of Health's General Department of Preventive Medicine on Tuesday.

Jan. 9, 2017

Baby born with microcephaly in Travis County has Zika virus, health officials say

(Austin American-Statesman) Austin health authorities confirmed this week that a baby born in Travis County with microcephaly in September has the Zika virus. Although the infant’s case is the first confirmed case of congenital transmission of the Zika virus in Travis County, officials with Austin Public Health do not believe the virus was acquired locally.

Jan. 6, 2017

How we know Zika virus causes Guillain-Barre syndrome and birth defects

(Medical News Today) A structured analysis of the evidence confirms that infection with mosquito-borne Zika virus is a cause of the neurological disorder Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), in addition to microcephaly and other congenital brain abnormalities, according to a systematic review published in PLOS Medicine by Nicola Low of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues in the World Health Organization (WHO) Zika Causality Working Group.

Jan. 5, 2017

Zika Onslaught Affected 48 Countries In 2016

(WINN-FM) The mosquito-borne Zika virus spread rapidly in 2016 throughout the Americas including the Caribbean, the Pan American Health Organization is reporting. PAHO says that by the close of this year, 48 countries and territories in the Americas had reported more than 532,000 suspected cases of Zika. The figure included 175,063 confirmed cases.

MSU lands $1 million USAID grant to fight Zika

(Michigan State University News) Michigan State University has landed a highly competitive grant from USAID to fight the Zika virus in Mexico. The $1 million grant was awarded to Zhiyong Xi, MSU associate professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, to build a mosquito factory in Yucatan, Mexico. The laboratory will be modeled after a facility in Guangzhou, China, a center that Xi leads in partnership with Sun Yat-sen University. (Image: Michigan State University)

5 Ways The Zika Virus Is Here To Stay

(Huffington Post) Zika virus’ status as a global health threat may officially be over, but the disease’s impact is far from contained. The World Health Organization decided in November to end its designation of Zika virus as a public health emergency, but that doesn’t mean that Zika virus has disappeared, explained Dr. Carlos Pardo-Villamizar, a clinical neurologist with an expertise in infectious disorders at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Jan. 4, 2017

Identified: Key Proteins That May Make Zika So Deadly

(Eurasia Review) A new study by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) has for the first time identified seven key proteins in the virus that may be the culprits behind this damage. The study is the first comprehensive description of the Zika virus genome. (Image: CDC)

Why Major Zika Outbreak Is Unlikely in U.S.

(Web MD) The United States' comfortable standard of living makes a large-scale outbreak of Zika virus unlikely, a new scientific paper suggests. Exposure to mosquitoes in the United States is limited by widespread access to clean water, air conditioning, screened doors and windows, and other household amenities that most Americans take for granted, said lead author Max Moreno-Madrinan.

Jan. 3, 2017

More work lies ahead to fight Zika, other threats: CDC chief

(Reuters) A year ago, the mosquito-borne Zika virus was only beginning to reveal itself as a threat to pregnant women and their unborn babies. Since then, U.S. officials have issued 60 travel alerts along with guidance for athletes and tourists traveling to the Olympics in Rio. They have also deployed more than 1,000 experts to Puerto Rico and elsewhere, tested more than 147,000 lab specimens, initiated 25 major studies and issued more than 230 scientific publications. And the work is not done, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Image: Reuters)

Dec. 30, 2016

Puerto Rico receives $2M to fight Zika epidemic in mountains

(Associated Press) Puerto Rico has been awarded more than $2 million in federal funds to fight Zika across mountain communities in the U.S. territory's interior.

Zika virus cases and associated microcephaly in the US may have occurred as early as 2009

(University of Hawaiʻi News Service) University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) scientists have discovered that severe birth defects related to infection with the Zika virus (ZIKV) occurred much earlier than in 2016, when the connection was first made between the virus and an increased likelihood of microcephaly during outbreaks of ZIKV infection in Brazil and Puerto Rico. (Image: University of Hawaiʻi)

Dec. 29, 2016

Zika virus infection determined by reproductive cycle in mice

(Medical News Today) Female mice may be more susceptible to vaginal Zika virus infection during a specific stage of their reproductive cycle, researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology report in Cell Reports. While their findings cannot be directly extrapolated and applied to humans because the virus was tested in mice with altered immune systems, it does illustrate how certain sex hormones can allow the sexually transmitted virus to establish itself in the reproductive tract and move into the bloodstream.

Dec. 28, 2016

FDA Issues Alert on Commercial Serological Test for Zika

(MedPage Today) The FDA announced that a user of the commercial Zika virus test -- ZIKV Detect -- has reported some false positive results, and that clinicians should not make any healthcare decisions for their patients on the basis of these results until the CDC has confirmed them with an additional test. The agency reported that the CDC has confirmed "less than half" of positive results from ZIKV Detect testing at a U.S. commercial testing facility, Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp).

Dec. 23, 2016

Cameron Co. Teen Infected in Sixth Zika Virus Case

(KRGV-TV) A sixth case of the Zika virus was confirmed in the Rio Grande Valley on Thursday. Cameron County health authorities released the information Thursday stating a 14-year-old teenager was infected. (Image: KRGV-TV)

Brazilian women shun pregnancy due to Zika: survey

(AFP) More than half of young Brazilian women have shunned pregnancy due to Zika, which can cause birth defects, according to a research released today. In a national survey in June of more than 2,000 literate women in Brazil aged 18 to 39, 56 per cent said they had "avoided, or tried to avoid pregnancy" due to the virus, according to an article in the medical journal BMJ.

CDC sends nearly $200 million in Zika funding to states

(Fort Worth Business Press) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding nearly $200 million in Zika funding to states and territories to continue the fight against the mosquito-borne virus, officials announced Thursday. (Image: Fort Worth Business Press)

Zika-Associated Birth Defects at 6% in United States

(Infectious Disease Advisor) Among pregnant women in the United States with completed pregnancies and laboratory evidence of possible recent Zika infection, 6% of fetuses or infants had evidence of Zika-associated birth defects, according to a study published in JAMA.

Florida universities, backed by $10 million federal grant, at center of Zika research

(Miami Herald) Florida has been the epicenter for Zika in the United States and is now poised to become a national hub for efforts to fight the virus. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a $10 million grant to four Florida universities for research on how to keep the Zika virus from spreading. The grant will fund a collaboration between the University of Florida, the University of Miami, Florida International University and the University of South Florida to study Zika and other diseases spread by vectors like mosquitoes.

Dec. 22, 2016

Inovio Zika vaccine evokes robust response in early human study

(Reuters) Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental Zika vaccine induced robust immune responses in an early-stage study in human volunteers who have not been infected with the virus.

Test rápido brasileño que detecta zika, dengue y chikunguña recibe registro (Brazilian quick test that detects Zika, dengue and chikungunya receives approval)

(El Economista) La autoridades brasileñas de salud le concedieron el registro a un test rápido para el diagnóstico de zika, dengue y chikunguña desarrollado por científicos de Brasil, lo que permitirá su inmediata distribución y mejorará el combate a las tres enfermedades, informaron hoy fuentes oficiales. (Brazilian health authorities have approved registration of a quick test for diagnosing Zika, dengue and chikungunya developed by scientists in Brazil, allowing immediate distribution and advancing the fight against the three diseases, official sources said today.) (Image: El Economista)

Dec. 21, 2016

Researchers Strengthen the Case for Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus

(Infection Control Today) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes harboring parasitic Zika virus (ZIKV) are the primary transmitters of virus to humans, potentially causing catastrophic congenital microcephaly in babies born to women bitten by infected mosquitoes. But confirmation earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that ZIKV can also be sexually transmitted raised new alarm that virus could be passed between sexual partners in venues far from mosquito habitats.

Dec. 20, 2016

El Nino Fueled Zika Outbreak, Study Suggests

(Infection Control Today) Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that a change in weather patterns, brought on by the 'Godzilla' El Niño of 2015, fuelled the Zika outbreak in South America. The findings were revealed using a new epidemiological model that looked at how climate affects the spread of Zika virus by both of its major vectors, the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus).

New Zika findings reveal how virus does its damage

(Los Angeles Times) In the blood of a patient infected with Zika, researchers have found key proteins that could help them create medicines and vaccines to fight the rapidly spreading virus. A study published recently in the journal Science Translational Medicine describes two antibodies that were able to “eliminate” samples of the Zika virus when tested in laboratory dishes.

Dec. 19, 2016

Malaysia confirms its eighth Zika virus case

(Reuters) Malaysia confirmed an eighth Zika virus case on Sunday, involving a 67-year-old man who first showed symptoms in late November. An online statement from the Health Ministry's director general, Noor Hisham Abdullah, did not specify if the man from the state of Selangor contracted the case locally or overseas.

RGV Blood Bank Center Transfers Zika Testing Costs to Hospitals

(KRGV-TV) A Rio Grande Valley non-profit that handles blood donations will pass along the cost of Zika testing to local hospitals. United Blood Services said the move has to happen to keep the blood supply free of infection. (Image: KRGV)

Dec. 16, 2016

Africa: Zika Virus Incidences Reach 15.6 Per Cent

(Tanzania Daily News) National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)'s just released study findings show that 15.6 per cent of the 533 people whose blood samples were tested have Zika virus. Presenting the institute's achievements over the year, NIMR Director General, Dr Mwele Malecela, said in Dar es Salaam the study also discovered that out of 80 toddlers born with physical disabilities, 43.8 per cent were traced with the virus.

Dec. 15, 2016

Birth defects seen in 6 percent of Zika pregnancies: U.S. study

(Reuters) Roughly six percent of women in the United States who were infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy had fetuses or babies with birth defects, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday. Of the 442 women in a U.S. Zika registry who had completed their pregnancies, 26 of their babies had one or more birth defect thought to be linked with Zika infection during pregnancy, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

CDC issues Texas city warning for pregnant women after Zika

(Associated Press) Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to Brownsville, Texas, because of concerns about mosquitoes there spreading the Zika virus, federal health officials said Wednesday. The warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises doctors to tell pregnant women and their sex partners to take precautions and to consider putting off travel to the city while the advisory is in place.

Zika antibodies from infected patient thwart infection in mice

(Science Daily) Researchers have identified neutralizing antibodies against Zika virus from an infected patient that fully protected mice from infection, adding to the current arsenal of antibodies in development for much needed antiviral therapies and vaccines.(Image: Science Daily)

Dec. 14, 2016

Zika virus can keep growing in infant brains even after birth: U.S. CDC

(Reuters) U.S. researchers have found evidence of the Zika virus replicating in fetal brains for up to seven months after the mother became infected with the virus, and they showed the virus can persist even after birth, according to a study published on Tuesday. (Image: Reuters)

New CDC Study Finds Zika-Linked Birth Deficits in Approximately 6% Of Pregnancies

(ABC Radio News) A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday evening provides the most comprehensive look to date at the ways in which the Zika virus is affecting women infected during pregnancy who delivered in the United States. Out of a study of 446 pregnant women infected with Zika, about 6 percent of all completed pregnancies had babies or fetuses with birth defects potentially linked to the virus, consistent with previous modeling estimates. That number jumps to 11 percent when only including women who were infected in their first trimesters.

Dec. 13, 2016

CDC Awards Texas $5 Million To Fight Zika

(Texas Public Radio) Now that Brownsville has confirmed local cases of Zika, the federal government is sending more money to the Texas to help control further spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control has awarded Texas a five million dollar grant. That money will be used to combat Zika in the Lone Star State. The grant is for Public Preparedness and Response. (Image: Texas Public Radio)

Dec. 12, 2016

4 more Zika cases, likely homegrown, found in Texas

(Associated Press) Four more cases of Zika that were likely transmitted by mosquito bites in Texas have been found in the same Brownsville neighborhood where the state's first such case was discovered, state health officials said Friday.

Microcephaly quadrupled in Colombia this year due to Zika: report

(Reuters) Cases of microcephaly in Colombia were four times higher this year than last, an increase that coincides with a widespread outbreak of Zika virus in the country, a report released on Friday said.

Officials: South Beach halts Zika's spread, but risks remain

(Associated Press) Florida's governor and tourism officials are declaring victory over Zika in South Beach. But the virus remains a risk in Miami-Dade County. Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that the popular tourist destination had been cleared of active Zika transmission.

Dec. 8, 2016

Respuestas a las dudas científicas sobre el zika tardarán años, según la OMS (Answers to scientific questions about Zika will take years, according to the WHO)

(EFE) El mundo tardará varios años en obtener respuestas para las múltiples incógnitas científicas que rodean la epidemia de virus del Zika y los devastadores efectos neurológicos que provoca, según asume la OMS, que a pesar de ello le ha retirado la calificación de emergencia sanitaria de alcance internacional. (It will take the world several years to get answers to the many scientific questions surrounding the Zika virus epidemic and the devastating neurological effects it causes, according to the WHO, which nevertheless has withdrawn its status as an international health emergency.)

Dec. 7, 2016

New York City Has 5 Babies Born With Zika-Related Brain Issue

(New York Times) At least four babies have been born in New York City with Zika-related brain developmental symptoms since July, the city’s health department said on Wednesday, bringing the total number of such births to five.

New Clues to Huge Jump in U.S. Mosquito Population

(Health Day News) New research hints at why the number of mosquitoes has jumped 10-fold in the past 50 years in certain U.S. states: Increased urbanization and shrinking levels of the pesticide DDT in the environment could be major factors. (Image: Health Day News)

 

New Mechanism to Control Human Viral Infections is Discovered

(Infection Control Today) A team of researchers, co-led by a University of California, Riverside professor, has found a long-sought-after mechanism in human cells that creates immunity to influenza A virus, which causes annual seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics. The research, outlined in a paper published online today in the journal Nature Microbiology, could have broad implications on the immunological understanding of human diseases caused by RNA viruses including influenza, Ebola, West Nile, and Zika viruses.

Dec. 6, 2016

Zika Risk In US Mapped By Centers For Disease Control And Prevention

(Science World Report) Zika has spread to the various parts of the world including the United States, via infected travelers. Ever since the virus came to the U.S., it got transmitted to healthy individuals via sexual intercourse or mosquito bites. According to experts, this may take in a form of epidemic if not prevented and contained. Puerto Rico is already notified as the site of epidemic outbreak of Zika in the Americas.

Zika Virus Infographics

(CDC) English and Spanish infographics about the Zika virus, including information on pregnancy, basic information, the spread of Zika, sexual transmission, the CDC response, flu vs. Zika and the top five things everyone needs to know about Zika. (Image: CDC)

Preventing Zika From Blood Transfusions

(International Anesthesia Research Society) As the Zika epidemic spreads to the United States, the potential for contracting the disease via blood transfusion has emerged as a serious concern. The problem of transfusion-related Zika virus transmission -- and recommended strategies to reduce that risk -- are outlined in a special article in Anesthesia & Analgesia. Anesthesia & Analgesia is published by Wolters Kluwer.

Dec. 5, 2016

Brownsville Zika Case Sparks Door-To-Door Visits

(Texas Public Radio) State and local healthcare teams have descended on a Brownsville neighborhood, after evidence that a woman there has contracted Zika from local mosquitoes.  Florida is the only other state where that has happened.  Most in the United States who’ve tested positive for the virus got it while visiting other countries.

Zika Test Results Expected In Brownsville Soon

(Texas Public Radio) Cameron County health officials say they want to wait until all of the test samples are in to disclose the test results on urine samples collected voluntarily by people in a southwest side Brownsville neighborhood.  A woman from that part of the city was diagnosed with Zika. She had not traveled anywhere or contracted the virus through sexual contact. (Image: Texas Public Radio)

Miami Now Free of Locally Transmitted Zika Virus, CDC Says

(ABC News) Florida health officials have announced continued progress in the fight against the Zika virus after a Miami neighborhood was declared free of ongoing Zika transmission today. The Little River area of Miami is now free of active Zika transmission after no new cases were reported in the last 45 days, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today.

BBC Death in Paradise actor reveals he picked up Zika virus filming

(The Telegraph) The star of the BBC crime series Death in Paradise has revealed that he contracted Zika while making the programme in the Caribbean. Tony Gardner, said it was possible that “quite a lot” of the 265 British travellers known to have been infected with the virus may have been involved with the series. (Image: BBC)

Dec. 2, 2016

Texas Valley Zika Case Prompts Prenatal Caution

(Texas Public Radio) Doctors in the Rio Grande Valley have stepped up their observation of pregnant women following the first suspected case of locally-transmitted Zika. Zika is a virus that can cause birth defects in unborn babies. Cameron County obstetricians are urging their patients to take extra precautions.

Dec. 1, 2016

Q&A: A look at Texas' first homegrown case of Zika

(Associated Press) Health officials are going door-to-door in the Texas neighborhood of a woman who is believed to be the first person to contract the Zika virus by getting bitten by a mosquito in that state. Officials are offering to test the woman's neighbors in Brownsville, which is on the border with Mexico, and are educating them about how to fight the spread of the disease, including how to reduce the breeding habitats of the mosquito that transmits it. But experts don't expect big outbreaks in the U.S. like those that have happened in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. (Image: Associated Press)

Zika and glaucoma linked for first time in new study

(Yale University) A team of researchers in Brazil and at the Yale School of Public Health has published the first report demonstrating that the Zika virus can cause glaucoma in infants who were exposed to the virus during gestation.

Zika in fetal brain tissue responds to a popular antibiotic

(University of California San Francisco) Working in the lab, UC San Francisco researchers have identified fetal brain tissue cells that are targeted by the Zika virus and determined that azithromycin, a common antibiotic regarded as safe for use during pregnancy, can prevent the virus from infecting these cells. (Image: University of California San Francisco)

Nov. 29, 2016

Texas announces its first locally transmitted Zika case

(Associated Press) Texas on Monday reported its first case of Zika virus that likely came from a mosquito bite within the state. Health officials say that the woman who was infected in Texas is a resident of Brownsville, located on the border the state shares with Mexico. But health officials said she reported no recent travel to Mexico or any other country with ongoing Zika outbreaks.

Cameron Co. Health Officials Amp Up Zika Virus Awareness

(KRGV-TV) Health officials are doubling down in a Brownsville neighborhood after one of its residents was confirmed to be infected with the Zika virus. Cameron County’s health workers are going door to door to educate residents. The news of the first Zika case likely transmitted locally is still fresh among neighbors living between 14th and International Boulevard and between Garfield and Taft Street. (Image: KRGV)

Texas reinstates Medicaid benefit for insect repellent

(KVUE-TV) The Texas Health and Human Service Commission is reinstating the Medicaid benefit for mosquito repellent after the first locally transmitted case of the Zika virus was reported in the state.

First Steps to Neutralizing Zika

(LabManager.com) As Zika spreads throughout the world, the call for rapid development of therapeutics to treat Zika rings loud and clear. Taking a step further in identifying a possible therapeutic candidate, a team of researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS), in collaboration with scientists from the University of North Carolina, have discovered the mechanism by which C10, a human antibody previously identified to react with the Dengue virus, prevents Zika infection at a cellular level. (Image: Duke-NUS Medical School)

Nov. 28, 2016

Zika vaccine may be ready by 2018

(Healio Infectious Disease News) Researchers who are driving forward progress for a Zika virus vaccine say they could have one ready for use as early as 2018.

Nov. 23, 2016

Zika-caused birth defect may become clear only after birth

(Associated Press) Researchers say a severe birth defect caused by Zika infection may not be apparent at birth but develop months afterward, further confirmation that the virus can cause unseen damage to developing babies. The findings come from a study of 13 Brazilian babies whose heads all appeared normal at birth but then grew much more slowly than normal. (Image: Associated Press)

New studies provide more insight into Zika effects

(Medical Xpress) Three new studies reporting on the effects of the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil will be presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

 

Florida lifts Zika transmission zone in parts of Miami Beach

(Reuters) Florida officials removed part of Miami Beach from an active Zika transmission zone on Tuesday, saying more than 45 days had passed since the last local case of the mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to microcephaly, a rare birth defect. Popular areas in the southern part of the seaside tourist destination, however, remain in a designated zone of active Zika transmission. (Image: Reuters)

La OMS estima que podrían confirmarse mil casos más de microcefalia en Brasil (WHO estimates an additional 1,000 cases of microcephaly could be confirmed in Brazil)

(EFE) La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) estima que en los próximos meses podrían confirmarse en Brasil un millar de nuevos casos de microcefalia en recién nacidos relacionados con la infección con el virus del Zika de sus madres. (The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in the coming months 1,000 new cases of microcephaly could be confirmed in Brazil in newborns related to a Zika infection in their mothers.)

Chinese scientists link male infertility to Zika

(Xinhua) Chinese scientists, led by Li Xiangdong and Gao Fu, revealed that the Zika virus caused male infertility in mice, indicating similar damage to humans. The study, titled “Zika virus causes testis damage and leads to male infertility in mice,” was published online by Cell, an international academic journal, on Tuesday.

Asia outbreaks prompt question: Is all Zika dangerous?

(Reuters) Zika's rampage last year in Brazil caused an explosion of infections and inflicted a crippling neurological defect on thousands of babies – an effect never seen in a mosquito-borne virus.It also presented a mystery: why had a virus that had been little more than a footnote in the annals of infectious diseases taken such a devastating turn in the Americas? How had Africa and Asia, where Zika had quietly circulated for decades, escaped with no reports of major outbreaks or serious complications? (Image: Reuters)

Nov. 22, 2016

Global standards for Zika testing needed, doctors say

(Reuters) Although the mosquito-born Zika virus often results in mild flu-like symptoms, serious birth defects linked to the illness may still justify travel advisories and require global testing standards, a new study suggests. The World Health Organization on Friday said the Zika outbreak is no longer a public health emergency, putting the virus in the same category as other mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and yellow fever.

Statement From The March of Dimes on Zika Virus

(PR Newswire) The Zika crisis is not over until a safe and effective vaccine is available.  While March of Dimes welcomes the World Health Organization's recommendation to develop a longer-term Zika response mechanism, the impact of this disease on babies must be recognized as distinct among other infectious threats, meriting an escalated response. March of Dimes remains deeply concerned about the disproportionate impact that Zika infection can have on pregnant women and their babies. Regardless of how Zika virus is classified in the future, it must continue to be recognized and resourced as an urgent public health issue.

Nov. 21, 2016

UN agency lifts Zika emergency, prepares for long-term fight

(Associated Press) Acknowledging Zika is "here to stay," the United Nations health agency on Friday lifted a 9-month-old emergency declaration and prepared for a longer-term response to the mosquito-borne virus that can result in severe neurological defects in newborns whose mothers were infected.

Myanmar health authorities struggle to prepare for Zika outbreak

(Reuters) Myanmar is largely unprepared for an outbreak of Zika, experts say, with the health ministry slashing anti-virus measures due to lack of funds, overworked doctors skipping check-ups and pregnant women saying they are in the dark about the dangers. (Image: Reuters)

Brazil to monitor Zika babies for three years

(Medical Xpress) Brazil's Health Ministry said Friday that babies whose mothers were infected by the Zika virus during pregnancy will be monitored until they are 3 years old to detect the presence of possible problems other than microcephaly.

Nov. 18, 2016

FDA research to help speed development of Zika virus vaccines and therapeutics

(Food and Drug Administration) A new mouse model developed by scientists at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may help in exploring the potential activity of Zika virus vaccines and therapeutics. Published today in PLoS Pathogens, is the description of a neonatal mouse model that provides a platform for potentially improving and expediting studies to understand the causes and effects (pathology) of the Zika virus.

Is Zika still a public health emergency?

(STAT News) On Nov. 20, 2015, the World Health Organization warned the spread of Zika virus in Brazil might be responsible for a surge in the birth of babies born with tiny heads and underdeveloped brains. On Friday, almost a year to the day from that first warning, experts who advise the UN’s global health agency on Zika will grapple with the question of whether this most unusual of outbreaks still constitutes a crisis. (Image: Getty)

Nov. 17, 2016

Texas A&M scientists solve the mystery of how mosquitoes become virulent virus hosts

(San Antonio Express-News) When viruses invade a mosquito's body, there's a battle between the insect's immune system and the infection. Scientists have long puzzled over what causes the virus to win that tug of war, which ultimately makes the mosquito a carrier for diseases like Zika, yellow fever, dengue and West Nile. A team of scientists from Texas A&M University this week announced they have solved that mystery, publishing new research that shows that several mosquito-borne viruses create a protein that suppresses the insect's immune system.

Women at greater risk for Zika infection due to suppressed vaginal immune response

(Medical Xpress) Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes discovered that the vaginal immune system is suppressed in response to RNA viruses, such as Zika. The delayed antiviral immune response allows the virus to remain undetected in the vagina, which can increase the risk of fetal infection during pregnancy. (Image: Gladstone Institutes)

Nov. 16, 2016

Zika virus can live for hours on hard, non-porous surfaces

(ScienceDaily) The Zika virus is most commonly transmitted in humans as the result of a bite from an infected mosquito or from an infected human to another human. What is not well known is that the virus also can be transmitted via the environment if an individual is pricked with an infected needle or has an open cut and comes in contact with the live virus. While there are no known cases to date of the general public being infected with the Zika virus through the environment, there has been at least one documented case of laboratory acquired Zika virus infection.

Thailand finds 33 new cases of Zika, says health ministry

(Reuters) Thai health officials on Wednesday said 33 new Zika virus cases have been detected in the country as officials step up screening for groups at high risk from the disease such as pregnant women. (Image: Reuters)

AgriLife Research team makes strides in fight against Zika

(Texas A&M AgriLife Communications) There's a war raging on a tiny battlefield and the outcome could well touch millions of people worldwide threatened by Zika and related viruses. The key ally unlocking the mystery surrounding this conflict is the long-dreaded yellow fever virus.

Nov. 15, 2016

Zika Infection in U.S. Is Still Rare So Far, Blood Donations Indicate

(New York Times) By the end of this week, all blood banks in the continental United States must begin testing donated blood for contamination with the Zika virus. Many banks are doing so already, and the early results indicate that the country has dodged a bullet — for now. Screenings in a dozen states suggest that Zika infection remains exceedingly rare. Among the approximately 800,000 blood donations tested in the past six months or so, about 40 were initially positive for the virus. (Image: New York Times)

Zika virus mosquito possibly spreads dengue in same bite

(Wall Street Journal) A single species of mosquito—Aedes aegypti—now spreads multiple viruses in the Western Hemisphere, including Zika, chikungunya, and dengue. That has prompted researchers to examine whether it may transmit more than one type of virus at once to people—and if so, what consequences that may have.

Holiday travelers to Mexico warned to guard against Zika virus

(Sacramento Bee) Holiday travelers headed to Mexico this winter were warned Monday to protect themselves against Zika-carrying mosquitoes. Any travel to Mexico is now considered to be risky for Zika virus infections, especially for pregnant women, according to the California Department of Public Health, which specifically cited popular tourist destinations such as Cancun, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa and Mazatlan.

Nov. 14, 2016

Florida Zika Virus Cases Edge Past 1,500

(Patch) Summer might be over, but that doesn’t mean Florida’s mosquitoes have stopped biting. Case in point, the total number of Zika virus reports across the state rose to 1,1,58 on Friday. The Nov. 11 announcement included seven new travel-related cases.

10 babies confirmed with Zika-linked microcephaly in Dominican Republic

(CMC) Health officials in the Dominican Republic have confirmed that 10 babies have been born with microcephaly, a neurological condition that is linked to the mosquito borne Zika virus.

Aumentan a más de 33.000 los casos de zika en Puerto Rico (Zika cases rise to more than 33,000 in Puerto Rico)

(EFE) Los casos del virus del Zika en Puerto Rico alcanzan ya los 33.455 tras registrarse 715 en la última semana, según informó hoy a través de un comunicado la secretaria del Departamento de Salud de la isla caribeña, Ana Ríus Armendáriz. (Cases of the Zika virus in Puerto Rico rose to 33,455 after reports of 715 new cases in the last week, according to a news release from the secretary of the Health Department of the Caribbean island, Ana Ríus Armendáriz.

Confirman la primera muerte de un bebé con microcefalia asociada al virus del zika (Argentina confirms the first death of a baby with microcephaly associated with the Zika virus)

(EFE) Un bebé con microcefalia, que murió a los diez días de nacer en Tucumán por trastornos y fallas orgánicas, "tenía enfermedad congénita por virus zika", informó el director nacional de Epidemiología, Jorge San Juan. (A baby with microceophaly that died 10 days after being born in Tucumán from catastrophic organ failure “had a congenital illness from the Zika virus,” said Jorge San Juan, national epidemiology director. 

Nov. 11, 2016

DNA-based Zika vaccine showed protection from infection, brain damage and death

(Medical Xpress) As the global spread of the Zika virus continues, efforts are underway to halt the disease's transmission. While no licensed therapies or vaccines to protect against the Zika virus are currently available, new research published in the journal npj Vaccines demonstrates how a synthetic DNA vaccine approach successfully protected against infection, brain damage and death caused by the mosquito-borne Zika virus in vivo. (Image: CDC)

CDC Issues Zika Guidance to Bolster Infection Control & Limit Exposure

(Contagion Live) Following on the heels of reports out of Utah touting that caregivers for an elderly man with Zika virus caught the infection—apparently—after coming into contact with his tears and/or sweat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance designed to bolster infection control and limit exposure for clinicians as well as other caregivers, working in and beyond the healthcare setting.

Brasil, Francia y EEUU firman acuerdo para desarrollar vacuna contra el zika (Brazil, France and the U.S. sign agreement to develop a vaccine to control Zika)

(EFE) Tres de los más importantes laboratorios de Brasil, Francia y Estados Unidos firmaron hoy en Río de Janeiro un acuerdo de cooperación para desarrollar una vacuna contra el zika, uno de los virus transmitido por el mosquito Aedes aegypti y cuyo contagio puede provocar microcefalia. (Three of the most important laboratories in Brazil, France and the United States signed a cooperation agreement in Rio de Janeiro today to develop a vaccine against zika, one of the viruses transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and the spread of which can lead to microcephaly.)

Zika striking women at higher rates than men: U.S. study

(Reuters) Adult women in Puerto Rico were significantly more likely to develop Zika than men, researchers said on Thursday, raising new questions about the potential role of sexual transmission of the virus from males to females. (Image: Reuters)

Nov. 10, 2016

Zika virus taking toll on blood donations at Fort Bragg

(Stars and Stripes) A federal directive to test for the Zika virus has made it challenging for Fort Bragg to collect blood - and officials are calling on donors to step up. Fort Bragg's Blood Donor Center, which used to accept blood from bases in Virginia and South Carolina, is restricted to donations within North Carolina borders while it's under a directive to test for the Zika virus. The center is in urgent need of blood types O-negative and O-positive. (Image: U.S. Army)

Zika: “viajar embarazada es jugar con fuego”, dicen expertos (With Zika, traveling while pregnant is playing with fire, experts say)

(EFE) "Viajar embarazada a un lugar con un brote de zika es jugar con fuego sin necesidad", coincidieron expertos reunidos en el 'Simposio internacional sobre zika' que se desarrolla en Río de Janeiro. Los especialistas recomiendan incluso un periodo de prevención de seis meses en caso de planes de embarazo si algún miembro de la pareja se ha desplazado a áreas afectadas por el virus. (“Traveling while pregnant to an area with a Zika outrbreak is playing with fire unnecessarily,” said experts gathered at the International Symposium on Zika in Rio de Janeiro. Specialists even recommend a six-month waiting period for those planning to become pregnant if a partner has moved to areas affected by the virus.)

Nov. 9, 2016

Human testing begins on Zika virus vaccine developed by the Army

(Army Times) A Zika virus vaccine was injected into 75 healthy adults on Monday at the start of human trials of the vaccine developed by the Army, Defense Department officials announced Tuesday.

'Virus can break out anywhere,' warns Brazilian doctor

(AFP) The Brazilian doctor who first linked the Zika virus to brain damage in babies warns that rich countries are not safe from the disease, urging them to increase research funding. Obstetrician Adriana Melo was the first person to make the connection between an outbreak of Zika in Brazil and a surge in babies born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads. (Image: AFP)

Zika infection confirmed in Pacific republic

(USA Today) An archipelago of islands whose capital is about 800 miles southwest of Guam reported what appears to be its first Zika case not from overseas travel, Palau's Bureau of Public Health reported.

Nov. 8, 2016

Army scientists begin testing inactive Zika virus vaccine in humans

(Miami Herald) With Florida health officials reporting more mosquito-borne Zika infections in Miami-Dade, including one new case confirmed Monday, scientists with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) launched the first of five early stage clinical trials that they hope will lead to the development of a vaccine against the virus. (Image: Miami Herald)

Zika remains a threat despite seasonal change

(Victoria Advocate) Fall is here. Is Zika still a concern? The answer is yes. Until the first freeze, mosquitoes will continue to be a nuisance for community members. The Victoria County Public Health Department has and will continue to take preventative measures to avoid local transmission of the Zika virus and potentially other vector-borne diseases.

Early study finds antibody that 'neutralizes' Zika virus

(Medical Xpress) Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, have isolated a human monoclonal antibody that in a mouse model "markedly reduced" infection by the Zika virus. The antibody, called ZIKV-117, also protected the fetus in pregnant mice infected with the virus, the researchers reported today in the journal Nature. (Image: Washington University)

Nov. 4, 2016

Congenital Zika syndrome is the new name for a group of devastating birth defects

(Washington Post) The birth defects caused by Zika have been described in heartbreaking detail as the virus has spread to more than 45 countries, infecting hundreds of thousands of people, including tens of thousands of pregnant women. Now researchers have concluded that a Zika infection during pregnancy is linked to a distinct pattern of birth defects that they are officially calling congenital Zika syndrome. (Image: Washington Post)

Nov. 3, 2016

Zika infections double in Vietnam as cases increase in south

(Reuters) The number of confirmed Zika cases in Vietnam has more than doubled over the past three days to 23, with a dozen of the new infections recorded in the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Bolivia reports first three Zika-linked microcephaly cases

(Medical Xpress) Bolivia has detected its first three cases of microcephaly caused by the Zika virus, local media reported Wednesday, citing health authorities. Two babies were born with the birth defect in September and a third in October, said the director of the public health service for the department of Santa Cruz, Aida Aguilera, quoted by local newspaper El Dia de Santa Cruz.

Accurate Facebook posts about Zika virus were plentiful, not popular

(Reuters) Social media is an important source of news for many Americans, but the health stories that are most popular may also be the least accurate, suggests a study of Facebook posts about Zika virus. In May and June 2016, a period of heavy media coverage of the Zika virus epidemic spreading in the Americas, about four out of five popular posts on Facebook about Zika contained accurate information, researchers found. But the ones containing inaccurate information or conspiracy theories were far more popular on the social networking website.

Nov. 2, 2016

CDC: Contraceptives would cut Zika costs in Puerto Rico

(Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy) Providing increased access to contraception to women in Puerto Rico during the Zika outbreak would be a cost-saving measure, including avoiding $62.3 million in costs related to Zika-linked microcephaly, researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Puerto Rico reported today.

Colombia Is Hit Hard by Zika, but Not by Microcephaly

(New York Times) BARRANQUILLA, Colombia — This tropical city on the Caribbean coast may hold the answer to one of the deeper mysteries of the Zika epidemic: Why has the world’s second-largest outbreak, after Brazil’s, produced so few birth defects? In Brazil, more than 2,000 babies have been born with microcephaly, abnormally small heads and brain damage caused by the Zika virus. In Colombia, officials had predicted there might be as many as 700 such babies by the end of this year. There have been merely 47. (Image: New York Times)

Vaccinating Against Dengue May Increase Zika Outbreaks

(Eurasia Review) Vaccinating against dengue fever could increase outbreaks of Zika, suggests new research out of York University and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China.

Chembio’s DPP® Zika Test Approved by Brazil’s Health Regulatory Agency

(Globe Newswire) Chembio Diagnostics, Inc., a leader in point-of-care diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, today announced that it has received approval for commercial use of its DPP Zika IgM/IgG Assay by the Brazilian health regulatory agency, Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária.

Minors Being Tested for Zika in Cameron County

(KRGV-TV) More than 100 people in Cameron County were tested for the Zika virus, so far this year. Cameron County Health Department Administrator, Esmeralda Guajardo, said the majority of those people tested were minors. Seventy five out of 107 people tested were minors from ages 11 to 17, detained at an immigration center. Health officials said at least four of those minors tested positive for Zika.

Nov. 1, 2016

Zika causes infertility, lasting harm to testes in mice: U.S. study

(Reuters) A study of mice infected with Zika showed the virus caused lasting damage to key cells in the male reproductive system, resulting in shrunken testicles, lower levels of sex hormones and reduced fertility, U.S. researchers said on Monday. (Image: Reuters)

Nearly 600 Zika Investigations Force Harris County Public Health to Improvise

(Infection Control Today) The Harris County Public Health Department — which this past summer confirmed the state of Texas’ first Zika-associated death — has investigated nearly 600 suspected cases this year, 55 percent of which were pregnancy-related, according to new research released today at the American Public Health Association’s 2016 annual meeting in Denver.

Oct. 31, 2016

Brazil not expecting another big wave of Zika with onset of summer

(Reuters) Brazilian health officials say they do not expect a second wave of widespread Zika infections similar to that of a year ago, despite warming temperatures causing a rebound in reproduction of the mosquito responsible for transmitting the virus.

First Baby in Puerto Rico With Zika-Related Microcephaly Born

(New York Times) The first child in Puerto Rico with Zika-related microcephaly has been born, the territory’s secretary of health announced Friday. The fetus’s abnormally small head was not detected until the mother was nearly eight months pregnant, according to The Associated Press, even though the mother was probably infected in her second month. (Image: New York Times)

Vietnam reports 1st microcephaly birth likely linked to Zika

(Associated Press) Vietnam has reported its first case of microcephaly likely linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus. The 4-month-old girl with an abnormally small head was born in central Vietnam to a mother confirmed to have had the virus when she was pregnant.

Texas A&M launches new Zika-fighting app

(Laredo Morning Times) Texas A&M researchers have created a type of mobile health technology to fight the mosquitos at their source: standing water.

 

Oct. 28, 2016

Myanmar confirms first case of Zika virus infection: state TV

(Reuters) A pregnant foreign woman in Myanmar's largest city Yangon has been diagnosed with Zika, the first case of the mosquito-borne virus in the southeast Asian country, state-owned Myanmar TV (MRTV) said on Thursday.

Why Zika has infected so many people in Puerto Rico

(The Conversation) Over 28,000 cases of Zika were reported in Puerto Rico as of Oct. 26. In contrast, just over 4,000 cases of Zika were reported in the continental U.S. and Hawaii by the same date. Most of these cases are travel-related, meaning that people are infected while abroad. But in Puerto Rico, 98 percent of Zika cases are locally acquired. It is estimated that up 80 percent of people who are infected with Zika are asymptomatic, which means that reported cases may be just a fraction of those who may be infected. (Image: The Conversation)

Yangon women 'should avoid pregnancy' in next six months due to Zika

(Reuters) Myanmar said on Friday it will advise women in Yangon to avoid getting pregnant in the next six months to protect them from the Zika virus after the first case was confirmed in Myanmar's largest city.

Scientists discover potential new ways to resist deadly viruses including Zika and hepatitis C

(BT News) A team of scientists led by researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have discovered a potential way to resist deadly viral infections such as hepatitis C and Zika by blocking their means of regeneration.

People in Florida's latest Zika 'hot zone' want more buzz

(Associated Press) Mosquitoes bite everyone, not just Haitians. It's a point health educator Marie-Jose Ledan is sure to make when she approaches Little Haiti's churches, laundromats and mom-and-pop businesses about protecting people from the Zika virus. That seems obvious, but many in Miami's newest Zika "hot zone" bitterly remember what happened the last time health officials linked a devastating virus to this community: Discrimination and recrimination against Haitians continued for years after the federal government wrongly listed being Haitian as a risk factor for HIV and AIDS. (Image: Associated Press)

NYU Researchers Investigate Why U.S. Public Still Lacks Specific Knowledge of Zika Virus Risk

(PR Newswire) Even though a large majority of the U.S. public is aware of the Zika virus, according to a newly-released New York University (NYU) Zika study, fewer than half know some of the hallmarks of this novel virus: that it can cause birth defects among babies born to Zika-infected pregnant women, that it may be sexually-transmitted in addition to being mosquito-borne, and that most human hosts carrying the virus may be asymptomatic after having been infected.

Blood banks get strict while screening donors who travelled to Zika-hit nations

(Hindustan Times) Blood banks across India will now have to scan the travel history of blood and plasma donors to check if they have visited Zika-affected countries in the past four months. A circular from the National Blood Transfusion Committee (NBTC) set a stringent donor selection and donor screening criteria to prevent the deadly virus from spreading in India.

Oct. 27, 2016

Experts hope mosquito-borne bacteria can beat the Zika virus

(Associated Press) Researchers are trying to infect mosquitoes in Brazil and Colombia with a type of bacteria that could prevent them from spreading the Zika virus and other dangerous diseases. British and American governments are teaming up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K.-based Wellcome Trust to expand field tests in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and the city of Bello in northwest Colombia, philanthropist Bill Gates told a conference Wednesday. (Image: Associated Press)

Sanofi partners with Brazil to accelerate Zika vaccine work

(Reuters) Sanofi has struck a collaboration deal with a leading Brazilian research institute to speed development of a Zika vaccine, consolidating the French drugmaker's leading position in the race to defeat the mosquito-borne virus.

Oct.26, 2016

Zika virus 'not controllable': CDC director's grim warning

(USA Today) The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention delivered a grim assessment Tuesday of the government's ability to contain Zika, saying it's too late to stop the dangerous virus from spreading throughout the United States.

Some adult brain cells may be vulnerable to Zika infection: Study

(United Press International) Certain brain cells in adults may be vulnerable to damage from Zika infection, research with mice suggests. These stem cells replace lost or damaged neurons throughout adulthood. And they are believed to be critical to learning and memory, according to the scientists at The Rockefeller University in New York City and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in California.

Heat Biologics and University of Miami Announce Zika Vaccine Collaboration

(Globe Newswire) Heat Biologics, Inc., a leader in the development of gp96-based immunotherapies that activate a patient’s immune system to fight cancer, announced that it has entered into an agreement with the University of Miami for the license and development of a portfolio of patents leveraging its gp96 platform to target the Zika virus and other infectious diseases. 

Oct. 25, 2016

Frequent exams only treatment for pregnant woman with Zika

(Associated Press) Yessica Flores is getting ultrasounds more frequently than the average pregnant woman, but there's a cruel downside accompanying the joy of seeing how much her unborn daughter grows every few weeks: fear of possible defects caused by Zika. Flores became infected early in her pregnancy, and frequent ultrasounds and bloodwork are the only comfort doctors can offer in what so far looks like an issue-free pregnancy despite Zika, which can cause shrunken heads and other problems. (Image: Associated Press)

ZikaPLAN: 25 Research Organizations Unite to Fight Zika Virus and Build Long-term Outbreak Response Capacity in Latin America

(PR Newswire) 25 leading research and public health organizations from Latin America, North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe gathered in Recife for the launch of ZikaPLAN (Zika Preparedness Latin American Network). This global initiative, created in response to a Horizon 2020 funding call by the European Commission's Directorate-General Research and Innovation, has been formed to address the Zika virus outbreak and the many research and public health challenges it poses.

With public money short, private sector steps into Zika fight

(USA Today) Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has volunteered its sales reps to educate doctors about Zika. Charities are fundraising to buy medical screening equipment. And a company handed out mosquito traps free of charge.

Two British Zika cases found in Florida

(Sky News) Two British travellers have been diagnosed with the mosquito-born Zika virus after travelling to Florida. The two Britons, who have not been identified, contracted the virus in the "high-risk" area of Miami-Dade County, according to Public Health England.

Oct. 24, 2016

CDC announces supplemental funding opportunity for continued Zika response in 2017

(CDC) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is announcing the availability of about $70 million in supplemental funding to states, cities, and territories to support continued efforts to protect Americans from Zika virus. 

Oct. 21, 2016

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

(MedicalXpress) Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as methyl groups—influence viral replication and the human immune response. The study is published October 20 by Cell Host & Microbe. (Image: UC San Diego Health)

Prolonged Detection of Zika Virus in Vaginal Secretions and Whole Blood

(CDC) Infection with Zika virus is an emerging public health crisis. We observed prolonged detection of virus RNA in vaginal mucosal swab specimens and whole blood for a US traveler with acute Zika virus infection who had visited Honduras. These findings advance understanding of Zika virus infection and provide data for additional testing strategies.

Oct. 20, 2016

U.S. health officials create color-coded Zika zones in Florida

(Reuters) U.S. health officials introduced a new color-coding system on Tuesday for Florida's Miami-Dade County to distinguish between areas of active transmission that present a significant risk of transmission and areas where there is a possible risk of being infected. (Image: Reuters)

Zika test urged for pregnant women throughout Florida county

(Associated Press) The government on Wednesday recommended Zika testing for all pregnant women who recently spent time anywhere in Florida's Miami-Dade County. The county is the only area in the continental U.S. where mosquitoes have been spreading the virus since the summer.

 

Oct. 19, 2016

U.S. health officials outline Zika spending priorities

(Reuters) U.S. health officials outlined on Tuesday how they planned to divide up $1.1 billion in funds approved by Congress to fight the Zika virus, including repaying $44.25 million they were forced to borrow from a fund allocated for other emergencies. (Image: Reuters)

Zika virus detected in ‘a few’ units of donor blood in Florida

(Seattle Times) Zika virus has been detected in units of donated blood in Florida, federal health officials said Tuesday. But the number so far is small, and new testing in high-risk areas kept the virus from entering the U.S. blood supply.

New pool of Zika-positive mosquitoes trapped in Miami Beach

(Associated Press) Officials say a new pool of mosquitoes taken from Miami Beach has tested positive for Zika. A Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control news release says officials learned about the new pool Monday. The insects had been collected from a trap Oct. 5. The new pool is in the previously designated Zika transmission zone.

Oct. 18, 2016

Amid government silence, Venezuela's microcephaly babies struggle

(Reuters) The Venezuelan government has not acknowledged a single case of Zika-related microcephaly in the country. Beyond some health warnings and a handful of televised comments about Zika at the start of the year, the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro has largely kept quiet about the virus even as neighboring Brazil and Colombia publish weekly bulletins.

A promising step toward controlling Zika virus and dengue fever

(UCLA News) Five UCLA researchers were part of an international team that has used X-rays to reveal the structure of a molecule that is toxic to disease-carrying mosquitoes. The findings move the scientific world one step closer to genetically engineering a toxin that would be lethal to species that carry dengue fever and the Zika virus. (Image: UCLA)

Singapore 'closes' Zika zone as virus spread dwindles

(Reuters) Singapore said on Tuesday it had declared a Zika cluster area "closed", after no new infections were reported for two weeks. The Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive cluster in the southeast of the island was closed on October 9, the National Environment Agency said in a statement.

Oct. 17, 2016

Brazil has over 2,000 microcephaly cases in one year

(Xinhua) Brazil's Health Ministry reported on Friday that, one year after the beginning of the Zika-related microcephaly cases, 2,033 cases have been confirmed in the country. In 381 cases, the infection by Zika was already confirmed by lab tests.

Zika disease becomes endemic in Vietnam: health official

(Bao Tuoi Tre English) The mosquito-borne Zika disease has become endemic in Vietnam after nine victims tested positive in five of the country’s provinces and cities, according to one health official.

Oct. 13, 2016

Florida declares new area of Zika transmission in Miami

(Reuters) Florida officials on Thursday announced a new area of Zika transmission in the Miami region and have called on the federal government for funding to help fight the outbreak. Florida Governor Rick Scott said state health officials have confirmed that local transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus is occurring in a new small area in Miami-Dade County, where the state believes two women and three men have been infected by the virus. (Image: Reuters)

Texas A&M AgriLife scientist: ‘We are one step closer to finding a cure for Zika virus’

(AgriLife Today) After millions of sequence scans, a group of scientists led by a Texas A&M AgriLife researcher say they are “one step closer” to finding a cure for the Zika virus. Dr. Sandun Fernando and three other scientists, have been modeling and testing a series of ligands, or molecules, that attach themselves to the Zika virus protein. Identifying these molecules will help scientists match potential drug compounds that could be developed to help inhibit Zika virus once contracted.

Zika virus infection may prevent reinfection, study finds

(Science Daily) People infected with Zika virus may not be susceptible to Zika virus again, according to the latest research involving Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute.

Scientists map DNA of Zika virus from semen

(United Press International) The first complete genetic "blueprint" -- genome -- of a sample of Zika virus derived from semen has been obtained by researchers. The mosquito-borne Zika virus typically results in a mild, transient illness, but can be especially harmful if contracted during pregnancy. That's because maternal infection has been tied to a severe birth defect called microcephaly, where babies are born with too-small heads and brains. (Image: UPI)


Oct. 13, 2016

Zika dangers could threaten more than just infants, scientists say

(McClatchy) Research has shown that toddlers and adults – as well as fetuses and infants – could face developmental effects after contracting Zika, and scientists are trying to find out why. (Image: Associated Press)

Zika virus can damage fetal brain late in pregnancy: Study

(United Press International) The Zika virus may harm a baby's brain even if the mother is infected just before giving birth, a new study suggests.

Feds to Fund Plans to Take on Zika Virus With Drones

(NBC News) Two groups that want to deploy drones to fight Zika won support from the federal government Wednesday. The funding will go to helping them develop drones that could drop off Zika-fighting mosquitoes or ferry lab samples from remote regions. They join a batch of inventive solutions for fighting Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases being funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). (Image: USAID)

El primer nacimiento de un bebé con microcefalia causada directamente por zika en Puerto Rico sería en noviembre (The first birth of a baby with microcephaly caused directly by the Zika in Puerto Rico came in November)

(Univision) El primer bebé con microcefalia producida por el virus del Zika nacerá durante el mes de noviembre, confirmó la secretaria del Departamento de Salud local (DS), Ana Ríus. Por su parte, el neonatólogo Alberto de la Vega dijo que entre diciembre y enero se esperan  otros tres nacimientos de infantes con microcefalia. (The first baby with microcephaly caused by the Zika virus in Puerto Rico was born in November, said the secretary of the local Health Department, Ana Ríus. Meanwhile, neonatologist Alberto de la Vega said that between December and January, three births of infants with microcephaly are expected.)


Oct. 12, 2016

Florida Zika Cases Top 1,000; 2 New Cases Confirmed in Pinellas County

(Patch) Florida’s total number of Zika virus cases climbed to 1,002 Tuesday with the announcement of eight new travel-related cases and one infection involving exposure in the Miami-Dade County area. Two of the new travel-related cases involve Pinellas County residents.

Big Island reports first imported Zika case

(Associated Press) Hawaii health officials have confirmed the Big Island’s first travel-related case of the Zika virus. The state Department of Health said Tuesday that the Hawaii County resident recently traveled to the South Pacific and is past the point of being infectious to mosquitoes.


Oct. 11, 2016

WHO warns Zika is likely to spread further in Asia-Pacific region

(AFP-JIJI) The Zika virus is set to spread through Asia, the World Health Organization warned Monday, with hundreds of cases reported in Singapore and two Thai babies diagnosed with Zika-linked microcephaly.

Mexican authorities report cases of Zika linked Guillain-Barre syndrome

(Reuters) Five cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome associated with the Zika virus infection have been confirmed in Mexico, the country's Secretary of Health said on Thursday. The cases, found in the southern part of the country, were identified in three men and two women averaging 18 years old, health authorities said.

Zika 'syndrome': Health problems mount as babies turn 1

(Associated Press) Two weeks shy of his first birthday, doctors began feeding Jose Wesley Campos through a nose tube because swallowing problems had left him dangerously underweight. Learning how to feed is the baby's latest struggle as medical problems mount for him and many other infants born with small heads to mothers infected with the Zika virus in Brazil. (Image: Associated Press)

Further Evidence of Link Between Guillain-Barre Paralysis Syndrome and Zika Virus Infection, Study Finds

(ABC News) The Zika virus outbreak has been a major concern for public health officials in the past year, with growing evidence that the virus is not only linked to, but is the cause of a devastating birth defect called microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain, often leading to significant developmental issues. Now, researchers have found more evidence that the mosquito-borne virus may be linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome, an immunological reaction that can cause temporary paralysis, according to a small study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

DEET Repellents Safe in Pregnancy to Prevent Zika, Researchers Say

(HealthDay News) DEET insect repellents won't harm a pregnant woman or her fetus when used as instructed to prevent infection with the Zika virus, a new research analysis suggests.

As Hurricane Matthew moves out, Zika could move in

(McClatchy) As the waters from Hurricane Matthew began to recede, coastal residents from Florida to the Carolinas may have something else to worry about: Zika. The high winds broke through screen doors and windows, knocked out power and left behind small and large bodies of standing water that could serve as new breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Scientists raised concerns that the Zika virus that has touched down in South Florida is now a greater threat to expand and move up the coast. (Image: Associated Press)


Oct. 4, 2016

More evidence for Zika virus link to damage beyond microcephaly

(Reuters) The mosquito-borne Zika virus can lead to extensive birth defects that go beyond microcephaly, a Brazilian study suggests. Researchers studied 11 babies diagnosed with Zika and found they had a range of neurological impairments including small skulls and brains as well as an underdeveloped cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for motor skills, and an absence of normal folds in the cerebral cortex, the gray matter that handles memory, language, social skills and problem solving.

With $1.1 billion in new funding, U.S. health officials outline plan for fighting Zika

(Los Angeles Times) he nation’s top health officials on Monday laid out their plans for spending $1.1 billion in newly appropriated federal funds to combat the threat posed by the Zika virus. At the same time, they vented frustration at Congress for taking so long to make the money available as the virus spread to more than 25,000 people in U.S. states and territories, including 3,600 on the mainland. (Image: Associated Press)

Thailand considers Zika tests for all pregnant women

(Reuters) Thailand is considering testing all pregnant women for Zika, the health ministry said on Monday, following confirmation last week of its first known cases of microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size, linked to the Zika virus. (Image: Reuters)

New Health Alert Urging More Zika Testing Along Texas-Mexico Border

(NBC DFW) The Texas Department of State Health Services issued an alert to doctors Monday, urging more Zika virus testing along the Texas-Mexico border and Gulf Coast.

Zika vaccine race spurred by crisis and profit potential

(Reuters) The race to find protection against the Zika virus is fueled by something often missing from tropical disease research: the potential for big profit. The prospect of a blockbuster vaccine against a mosquito-borne virus has accelerated the pace of development and attracted the interest of big drugmakers, including Sanofi SA (SASY.PA), GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) and Takeda Pharmaceuticals (4502.T). (Image: Reuters)

Top Zika vaccine candidate moves closer to field testing

(United Press International) The leading Zika vaccine candidate should be ready for field testing should new outbreaks occur next year, U.S. health officials announced Monday. 


Oct. 3, 2016

CDC updates interim guidance for pre-pregnancy counseling and prevention of sexual transmission of Zika

(CDC) CDC today announced updates to its interim guidance for pre-pregnancy counseling and prevention of sexual transmission of Zika based on ongoing assessment of available data, primarily extending the timeframe for men with possible Zika exposure but no Zika symptoms to wait before attempting pregnancy with their partner and extending the time for use of condoms by these men to protect against sexual transmission of Zika virus infection. (Image: CNN)

CDC: NY leads nation in Zika cases, with 811 testing positive

(Newsday) New York continues to lead the nation in Zika cases, with 811 people testing positive for the mosquito-borne virus, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Study finds Zika infects neural cells related to skull formation

(Reuters) The Zika virus causing an epidemic in Brazil and spreading through the Americas can infect and alter cells in the human nervous system that are crucial for formation of bones and cartilage in the skull, a study found on Thursday.

Thailand confirms SE Asia's first Zika-linked birth defects

(Associated Press) Authorities in Thailand have confirmed that two cases of babies with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, were caused by the Zika virus, the first such cases found in Southeast Asia. (Image: Associated Press)

Zika illnesses are mild at worst in US teens, young children

(Associated Press) A first look at U.S. teens and young children who were infected with Zika suggests the virus typically causes at worst only a mild illness. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause severe brain-related birth defects. But the report seems to confirm health officials' belief that infections after birth in children are similar to infections in adults- most people don't feel sick, and some develop only mild symptoms like fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.


Sept. 30, 2016

Thailand confirms SE Asia's first Zika-linked birth defects

(Associated Press) Authorities in Thailand have confirmed that two cases of babies with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, were caused by the Zika virus, the first such cases found in Southeast Asia.

U.S. CDC issues Zika travel advisory for 11 Southeast Asian countries

(Reuters) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it has issued a travel advisory urging pregnant women to postpone non-essential travel to 11 Southeast Asian countries in connection with the Zika virus. The 11 countries are Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand, East Timor and Vietnam.

Kansas State University researchers develop Zika DNA vaccine

(Outbreak News Today) A research team that includes scientists with Kansas State University’s Biosecurity Research Institute has developed a promising Zika virus vaccine. The vaccine, a DNA vaccine, is safer and more effective against Zika virus and could offer more affordable long-term protection, researchers said. (Image: Kansas State University)

Scientists ID Key Fetal Cells Vulnerable to Zika

(HealthDay News) The devastating mosquito-borne Zika virus can infect cells that play a role in skull development, a new study finds. The findings may help explain why Zika infection during pregnancy can lead to babies with smaller-than-normal heads and brains, a birth defect called microcephaly.

Zika-related birth defects likely higher than anticipated: panel

(Reuters) The risk posed by the Zika virus to developing fetuses is likely far greater than current estimates suggest, a top U.S. health official said on Thursday.


Sept. 29, 2016

Congress passes funding bill averting government shutdown

(Reuters) The U.S. Congress approved a stop-gap funding bill on Wednesday that averts a looming federal government shutdown and provides urgently needed money to help battle an outbreak of the Zika virus. (Image: Reuters)

Utah man may have contracted Zika from dying father's tears

(Associated Press) A Utah man who mysteriously contracted Zika from his infected father may have got it by touching his dad's tears or sweat with his bare hands, according to new research that found the unusual transmission method was likely caused by his dying father having 100,000 times the normal level of the virus.

Hurdles Ahead for Zika Vaccine: Experts

(HealthFinder.gov) Work is progressing on developing a vaccine that can thwart the Zika virus, but it will take years to get one to market, experts warn. Two rival vaccines for Zika have the best chance of becoming available for field testing by early next year, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). (Image: HealthFinder.gov)

5 South Beach sites with Zika-infected mosquitoes identified

(Associated Press) The first Zika-infected mosquitoes to be trapped on the U.S. mainland were caught in residential South Beach neighborhoods, Miami-Dade County officials announced Wednesday.


Sept. 28, 2016

Deal reached to keep US government running, help Flint

(Associated Press) Congressional leaders have broken a stalemate over money to address the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, clearing the way for a spending bill needed to keep the government running until December. The spending measure also would provide long-delayed money to fight the Zika virus and help Louisiana rebuild from last month's disastrous floods.

CDC whistleblower claims agency has been using wrong Zika test

(Washington Post) In the midst of the fight to control Zika, the top public health agency in the United States has been engaged in an intense internal debate about the best way to test whether someone has been infected with the mosquito-borne virus. (Image: Associated Press)

Thailand rules out Zika link in two microcephaly cases; investigating two

(Reuters) Thailand ruled out on Wednesday Zika as the cause of two cases of microcephaly but is investigating two other cases that could be the first linked to Zika in Southeast Asia of the condition that results in babies being born with small heads.

Zika Vaccine Enters Clinical Trials

(Journal of the American Medical Association) As the first local mosquito-borne transmissions of the Zika virus are being reported in the continental United States, an investigational vaccine developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is entering phase 1 clinical trials. (Image: JAMA)

Aumentan a seis los muertos en Honduras por Guillain Barré en 2016 (Sixth death from Guillain Barré reported in Honduras)

(EFE) Un hombre de 50 años se ha convertido en la sexta víctima mortal a causa del Síndrome Guillain-Barré en Honduras en lo que va de 2016, informó hoy una fuente oficial. (A 50-year-old man has become the sixth victim of Guillain Barré Syndrome in Honduras in 2016, an official source said.)


Sept. 27, 2016

Philippines reports first Zika pregnancy case

(AFP) The Philippines on Monday reported its first known case of a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus that threatens unborn babies, as authorities warned people to avoid mosquitoes. Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said 12 cases of Zika had been detected across the Philippines this month, including a 22-year-old woman from the central island of Cebu who is 19 weeks' pregnant with her first child.

Thailand investigates four cases of suspected Zika-linked microcephaly

(Reuters) Thailand is investigating four suspected cases of Zika-related microcephaly in three babies and a 36-week old unborn baby, the public health minister said on Tuesday, in what could be the first cases of Zika-linked microcephaly in Southeast Asia. (Image: Reuters)

Sanofi gets $43 mln U.S. funding to spur Zika vaccine development

(Reuters) Sanofi SA said on Monday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved $43.18 million in funding to accelerate the development of a Zika vaccine, as part of efforts to prevent the infection.

CDC adds St. Kitts and Nevis to interim travel guidance related to Zika virus

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) CDC is working with other public health officials to monitor for ongoing spread of Zika virus‎. Today, CDC posted a Zika virus travel notice for St. Kitts and Nevis. CDC has issued travel notices (level 2, “practice enhanced precautions”) for people traveling to destinations with Zika.

Sept. 26, 2016

Metro Health confirms two new cases of Zika in San Antonio

(San Antonio Express-News) Two new Zika cases have been confirmed in Bexar County, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District announced Friday. The number of reported cases in Bexar County was 13 at 11 a.m. on Friday, but later in the day the district had identified two more, bringing the total to 15 confirmed cases in San Antonio. All the cases were contracted outside the country, officials said. (Image: San Antonio Express-News)

CDC: 3 Miami businesses epicenter of 1st US Zika outbreak

(Associated Press) The Zika outbreak in Miami's Wynwood arts district centered on three businesses with outdoor areas shared by employees, customers and breeding mosquitoes, and the number of people infected was likely greater than reported, said an investigative summary released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Puerto Rico reports 2nd death tied to Zika-related condition

(Associated Press) Health officials in Puerto Rico say a 75-year-old man infected with Zika has become the second person to die from a paralysis condition linked to the mosquito-borne virus. Authorities said Friday that the man died this month after developing complications from Guillain-Barre. They noted he had previous health issues including diabetes, asthma and a history of cancer.

Adult, larval insecticides pack deadly punch to mosquitoes, Zika: U.S.

(Reuters) The unprecedented aerial spraying of products that kill both adult mosquitoes as well as their larvae delivered a "1-2 punch" that has stopped direct transmission of the Zika virus in the Wynwood section of Miami, U.S. and Florida health officials said on Friday. (Image: Reuters)

Blood Donors: Test For Zika Or Don't Donate

(Texas Public Radio) Starting today, Sept. 23, the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center in San Antonio will screen all its donated blood for the Zika virus.

2 experimental Zika vaccines show promise in monkey studies

(AFP) A pair of experimental vaccines being developed by the US National Institutes of Health protected monkeys against Zika virus infection after two doses, researchers said on Thursday.

Vela Diagnostics gets emergency U.S. authorization for Zika test

(Reuters) Vela Diagnostics said its test for the Zika virus had received "emergency use authorization" from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The test, already approved in Europe, is validated for plasma, serum and urine samples, the Singapore-based company said on Monday. (Image: Reuters)

Florida Zika Cases Edge Near 900; 1 New Case Reported in Hillsborough County

(Patch) The Florida Department of Health confirmed four new Zika virus cases Friday, including a travel-related infection in Hillsborough County. The state’s tally of confirmed cases now stands at 878.

Singapore considers monitoring program for babies born to women with Zika

(Reuters) Singapore is exploring plans to establish a national surveillance program to monitor the development of babies born to pregnant women infected with the Zika virus, the state-owned Channel NewsAsia (CNA) said on Friday.

A New Zika Treatment Could Come From Head Lice Medicine

(Fortune) Dr. Mariano Garcia-Blanco of the University of Texas Medical Branch tells Fortune that a number of FDA-approved drugs could be effective Zika treatments. Garcia-Blanco and a team of researchers recently released a study finding that at least 20 treatments already on the market show promise, including ivermectin, a common head lice medicine. Also promising: mycophenolic acid (MPA), used to prevent rejection in organ transplantation, and daptomycin, a type of antibiotic.


Sept. 23, 2016

Blood Donations in Texas Now Tested for Zika Virus

(NBC-DFW) Blood from donors in Texas is now being tested for Zika virus infection, in an effort to prevent the virus from being spread through transfusions. The testing has already found signs of the virus in a pint of donated blood from the Austin area and another donated in Midland.

Blood Donations in Texas Now Tested for Zika Virus

(NBC-DFW) Blood from donors in Texas is now being tested for Zika virus infection, in an effort to prevent the virus from being spread through transfusions. The testing has already found signs of the virus in a pint of donated blood from the Austin area and another donated in Midland.

McConnell unveils stopgap spending bill, anti-Zika funds

(Associated Press) The Senate's top Republican on Thursday unveiled legislation to prevent a government shutdown next weekend and provide more than $1 billion to battle the Zika virus. It also would provide $500 million to help Louisiana rebuild from last month's devastating floods.

CDC Spent $2.5 Million in August to Increase Zika Testing Capabilities

(ABC Radio News) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention purchased about $2.5 million in supplies and equipment intended to increase its ability to test for the Zika virus in the month of August. (Image: Getty)

Florida governor to put $25M toward developing Zika vaccine

(Associated Press) Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has been highly critical of the federal response to the outbreak of the Zika virus, used his emergency powers Thursday to direct $25 million in state money toward helping to develop a vaccine.


Sept. 22, 2016

Brazil to begin Zika vaccine trials in humans

(Xinhua) Brazil will begin testing a vaccine against the mosquito-borne Zika virus in humans in the next two months, a leading researcher told reporters on Tuesday. The so-called DNA vaccine was jointly developed by Brazil's state-run Butantan Institute and researchers from the United States.

In Battle Against Zika, Researchers Seek Foolproof Test For Infection

(Kaiser Health News) The Zika virus has struck fear throughout the Americas, but determining whether people have been infected can be difficult. Here’s why: Most infected people don’t display symptoms or they choose to tough out what may seem like nothing more than influenza instead of seeking medical help. Moreover, infected people don’t have much detectable virus, and what’s in the body doesn’t linger. (Image: Kaiser Health News)

Tarrant County reports first patient infected in Miami with Zika

(Fort Worth Star-Telegram) Tarrant County’s 22nd Zika virus case is different from the others: The patient apparently contracted the virus during a visit to Miami. Tarrant County Public Health reported the 22nd case on Wednesday in a news release that said the other cases were people who had traveled to Central or South America and the Caribbean.

Quest Diagnostics debuts new test service for Zika virus

(CNBC) Quest Diagnostics on Wednesday unveiled a new antibody test service that helps medical professionals diagnose infection by the Zika virus. Quest is using a test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Sept. 21, 2016

Officials: 26-year-old San Benito woman contracted Zika virus after visiting Mexico

(WOAI-TV) A 26-year-old pregnant woman from San Benito apparently contracted the Zika virus after traveling to Mexico. The Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services announced the new Zika case Wednesday and plans to release additional details at a news conference.

Local Officials 'War Game' Zika Scenarios

(WOAI Radio) So what would local school districts do if a mosquito tested positive for the Zika virus in San Antonio?  How would a local transmission of Zika affect the local convention and tourism business?  Those were among the scenarios that were discussed at a 'war game' conducted by several city departments on how to deal with the possible spread of locally transmitted Zika to San Antonio, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Miami's Wynwood cleared of Zika; focus shifts to Miami Beach

(Associated Press) With health authorities declaring a win against Zika in Miami's Wynwood arts district, their emphasis shifts to the remaining transmission zone on nearby Miami Beach, where residents have objected to the aerial pesticide spraying crediting with halting infections. (Image: Associated Press)

6 more Zika cases recorded in Philippines

(Phil Star News) Six more cases of Zika virus infection were documented in the country, bringing to nine the total number of cases recorded this year, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday. In a press briefing, DOH spokesman Eric Tayag said in all cases, Zika virus was acquired through mosquito bites.

Zika no threat to plasma-derived drugs, says EU regulator

(Reuters) Patients who take medicines derived from blood plasma or urine are not at increased risk of catching Zika, even if the body fluids come from countries where the virus is prevalent, Europe's drugs regulator said on Wednesday.


Sept. 20, 2016

Miami's Wynwood cleared of Zika; focus shifts to Miami Beach

(Associated Press) With health authorities declaring a win against Zika in Miami's Wynwood arts district, their emphasis shifts to the remaining transmission zone on nearby Miami Beach, where residents have objected to the aerial pesticide spraying crediting with halting infections.

Congress struggles to finish Zika aid, prevent shutdown

(Associated Press) Congressional negotiators on Monday pressed to wrap up a must-do spending bill to prevent an election-season government shutdown and finally provide money to battle the Zika virus, but numerous sticking points remain and top Senate leaders again postponed a planned procedural vote.

UN atomic energy agency begins building new laboratory to fortify fight against Zika, insect pests

(United Nations News) The United Nations nuclear energy agency has begun constructing a new laboratory that will enable it to better help countries use nuclear techniques, such as application of irradiation to sterilize insects, in the fight against pests, including mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus and other diseases. (Image: IAEA)


Sept. 19, 2016

Florida expands Zika zone in Miami Beach after five new cases

(Reuters) State officials in Florida on Friday tripled the active Zika transmission zone in the trendy seaside community of Miami Beach after five new cases of the mosquito-borne virus believed to cause a severe birth defect were identified in the area.

Congress works to finish Zika aid, prevent shutdown

(Associated Press) Driven by a desire to free up endangered lawmakers to campaign, congressional negotiators are working to quickly complete a spending bill to prevent an election-season government shutdown and finally provide money to battle the threat of the Zika virus. (Image: Associated Press)

Sengkang now a Zika cluster; total tally of infected hits 369

(MSN) The district of Sengkang has now been added to the list of Singapore's Zika hotspots as the total tally of locally transmitted cases reaches 369.

Thailand to crack down on Zika breeding spots

(Associated Press) Authorities in Thailand seeking to curb the growing number of Zika cases say they will criminally charge homeowners who fail to remove mosquito breeding grounds on their property.


Sept. 16, 2016

Aides: Congress makes progress on Zika, spending

(Associated Press) A long impasse that has delayed money to combat Zika for months neared an end Thursday as congressional aides said Republicans would relent and let Planned Parenthood affiliated clinics share in new funding to fight the virus. The potential deal would ease the way for Congress to quit work until after the Nov. 8 election. (Image: Associated Press)

Aerial pesticide spray adds to fears in Zika-stricken Miami

(Associated Press) In the only U.S. city confirmed to have mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, some residents say they'd rather be bitten than be exposed to droplets of chemicals sprayed from planes to kill the bugs.

Study confirms Zika causes brain birth defects, questions remain

(Reuters) Early results from a crucial case-control study in Brazil have confirmed a direct causal link between Zika virus infection in pregnant women and the brain damaging birth defect microcephaly in their babies, scientists said on Thursday. But while preliminary findings from the first 32 cases involved in the study confirm causality, the researchers said, the true size of the effect will become clear only after full analysis of all 200 cases and 400 controls. (Image: Reuters)

Florida's 1st Zika Outbreak Almost Over, Officials Say

(NBC 6 South Florida) The mainland United States' first official outbreak of Zika virus may be declared over by early next week, NBC News reported. But another, in Miami Beach, is going strong, and on Thursday Florida health officials reported seven more Zika cases acquired locally, one of which involves a visitor from out of state.

Zika Virus Found in Eyes of Adult Patients, Study Finds

(ABC Radio News) The Zika virus has been found in fluid around the eyes of some patients, shedding new light on how the virus affects healthy adults, according to a study published Thursday in Journal for the American Medical Association Ophthalmology.

Travel-related Zika cases reported in Texas border cities

(KENS-TV San Antonio) A Texas border city has reported its first travel-related Zika infection. A 57-year-old Brownsville woman who returned from Mexico in December had symptoms of the virus.


Sept. 15, 2016

CDC Deploys New Rapid Response Teams To Fight Zika

(Kaiser Health News) For many years CDC has sent epidemiologists, or scientists who analyze disease outbreaks and study ways to prevent future ones, to major disease outbreaks. That work continues, said Kristen Nordlund, a communications specialist with the CDC. But building on its experiences with Ebola in 2014, the agency also has created new rapid response teams, called CDC Emergency Response Teams (CERT), that bring expanded expertise to contain an outbreak as quickly as possible.

Zika virus: Several people from Northern Ireland treated

(BBC) Several people from Northern Ireland have been diagnosed with the Zika virus. It is understood a person was treated as recently as last week. It is believed those diagnosed with Zika had all travelled outside of Northern Ireland.

What Doctors Learned From 42 Infants With Microcephaly

(National Public Radio) "These babies do not catch up as they grow," says Dr. Antonia Augusto Moura da Silva of the Federal University of Maranhao, Sao Luis, Brazil. He's describing the findings from a study of 48 babies whose mothers were believed to have been infected with the Zika virus. Forty-two of the children were diagnosed with microcephaly. The study, on the early neurological growth pattern of the infants, will be published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases in November but was released early online. (Image: NPR)

Guatemala acumula 616 casos de zika en 2016, 13 de ellos con Guillian-Barré (Guatemala reports 616 cases of Zika in 2016; 13 of them have Guillian-Barré)

(EFE) Un total de 616 casos de zika registró el sistema sanitario de Guatemala entre el 1 de enero y el 28 de agosto pasados, de los cuales 13 tienen el síndrome de Guillian-Barré y 17, todos menores de edad, microcefalia, informó hoy el Ministerio de Salud Pública y Asistencia Social (MSPAS). (A total of 616 cases of Zika hae been recorded the health system in Guatemala between Jan. 1 and Aug. 28, of which 13 have the syndrome Guillain-Barre syndrome and 17, all minors, microcephaly, said the Ministry Public Health and Social Welfare.)

El Salvador acumula 11.133 casos sospechosos de zika desde que ingresó virus (El Salvador has 11,133 suspected cases of Zika since the discovery of the virus in the country)

(EFE) Los casos sospechosos de zika registrados en El Salvador desde que el virus ingresó al país en noviembre de 2015 y hasta inicios de septiembre de 2016 alcanzaron los 11.133, de los que 341 son en mujeres embarazadas, de acuerdo a información oficial a la que Efe tuvo acceso hoy. (Suspected cases of Zika reported in El Salvador since the virus entered the country in November 2015, through early September, totaled 11,133, of which 341 are in pregnant women, according to official information supplied to EFE today.)


Sept. 14, 2016

CDC Still Stumped by Mystery Zika Case in Utah

(ABC News) More information on a mysterious case of Zika infection in Utah has come to light, health officials said today. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined the case of a Utah man who contracted a Zika infection although he was not exposed through a mosquito or sexual transmission. Their findings were published today in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Florida Zika Count Hits 70 Local Cases

(NBC News) Florida health officials said Tuesday they found six new locally transmitted cases of Zika virus, bringing the state's count to 70 cases. Florida Governor Rick Scott traveled to Washington D.C. Tuesday to lobby Congress for federal funding to fight the virus, and doctors repeated warnings that money's running out, even as more and more pregnant women seek testing to see if they have Zika infections.


Sept. 13, 2016

Obama, McConnell strike hopeful tone on budget, Zika

(Associated Press) Striking a conciliatory tone after an Oval Office sitdown, President Barack Obama and the top Senate Republican declared themselves hopeful Monday that an agreement can be reached to keep the government running and to provide money to take care of the worsening Zika crisis. (Image: Associated Press)

Trinidad y Tobago reporta 200 embarazadas infectadas con zika (Trinidad and Tobago reports 200 pregnant women infected with the Zika virus)

(EFE) El Ministerio de Salud de Trinidad y Tobago anunció hoy que 200 de las 376 personas infectadas con el virus del Zika son mujeres embarazadas. (The Ministry of Health of Trinidad and Tobago announced today that 200 of the 376 people infected with the Zika virus are pregnant women.)

SA Scientists Developing Animal Models for Zika Testing

(Texas Public Radio) San Antonio scientists are part of a push to develop laboratory animal models to study the Zika virus. Baboons and monkeys may be key to unlocking new treatments and vaccines. (Image: Texas Public Radio)

About 200 Zika cases recorded in Thailand: ministry

(Reuters) Thailand has recorded about 200 cases of Zika since January, the health ministry said on Tuesday, making it a country with one of the highest numbers of confirmed cases in the region. It was the first time Thailand's health ministry has confirmed the number of Zika cases this year.

Singapore investigating Zika strain as infections rise

(Associated Press) Singapore said Tuesday it is investigating the severity of its locally transmitted Zika virus, amid a rising number of cases. Researchers concluded last week that the strain of Zika found in two patients in Singapore was not from South America, but was similar to those found in the region decades ago.

As Zika Spreads In Asia, Study Shows Virus May Also Infect Adult Brain Cells

(Forbes) As concerns rise over the spread of the Zika virus in Southeast Asia, a new study from the Rockefeller University, published in Cell Stem Cell, found that the virus can also affect adult brain cells in mice — suggesting the potential for Zika to hold long-term neurological implications for adult humans.

Confirma salud 14 casos de Zika (Health officials report 14 cases of Zika)

(La Prensa, Tamaulipas) El secretario de salud, Norberto Treviño García Manzo informó que de los 20 casos sospechosos de Zika, cuyas muestras analizaba el Laboratorio Estatal de Salud Pública, 11 resultaron positivas, de las cuales 2 corresponden a mujeres embarazadas; todos fueron tratados de forma ambulatoria y no presentaron ningún tipo de complicación. (The health secretary of Tamaulipas, Norberto Garcia Trevino Manzo, reported that of the 20 suspected cases of Zika, samples of which were analyzed the State Laboratory of Public Health, 11 were positive, of which 2 are pregnant women. All were treated on an outpatient basis and did not present any complications. (Image: La Prensa)


Sept. 12, 2016

CDC Director: 'Essentially out of money' to fight Zika

(Associated Press) The head of the government's fight against the Zika virus said that "we are now essentially out of money" and warned that the country is "about to see a bunch of kids born with microcephaly" in the coming months. (Image: Associated Press)

Hay riesgo de zika (Risk of Zika in area)

(El Mañana de Nuevo Laredo) Luego de los tres casos de zika en Tampico, entre ellos una mujer embarazada, la Secretaría de Salud en Nuevo Laredo exhortó a los neolaredenses a mantener limpios sus patios, los terrenos y las calles, ya que el zancudo se reproduce hasta en una ficha. (After three cases of Zika were reported in Tampico, including one in a pregnant woman, the Ministry of Health in Nuevo Laredo is urging residents to clean their yards, grounds and streets, places where the mosquitoes breed.)

Thailand finds 21 new cases of Zika in Bangkok, including pregnant woman

(Reuters) Twenty-one new cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed in central Bangkok, including a pregnant woman who later gave birth with no complications, Thailand's public health ministry said on Sunday. (Image: Reuters)

Does Asia Have A Secret Weapon Against Zika?

(National Public Radio) Zika could protect Asia from Zika. Scientists first detected the virus in the region in the 1960s. Over the next 50 years, multiple studies found sporadic cases across a massive swath of land — in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia. Those studies suggest Zika has been lurking in Asian mosquitoes and possibly infecting people silently, for decades — maybe longer. And that means people in the region may already be immune to Zika.

Puerto Rico: Pregnant women with Zika tops 1,500

(Outbreak News Today) The number of pregnant women in Puerto Rico confirmed positive for Zika virus increased by 133 cases in the past week, bringing the total to 1,517, according to Secretary of Health, Ana Ríus Armendariz.

Eight pregnant women among 329 infected by Zika in Singapore: government

(Reuters) Eight pregnant women have been infected by the Zika virus among the 329 cases in Singapore, the government said on Sunday. Doctors are providing close support and counseling, the Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency said in a joint statement.

Miami business owners anxious for Zika warnings to end

(Associated Press) Business owners are anxious for federal health officials to lift a travel advisory warning pregnant women and their partners to avoid parts of Miami and South Beach that have been identified as zones of active transmission of the Zika virus.


Sept. 9, 2016

Biden asks U.S. Congress to allow unencumbered Zika funding vote

(Reuters) Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday called on the Republican-led U.S. Congress to allow an up-or-down vote on funding to combat the Zika virus without other provisions attached, calling the health threat posed by the pathogen a national emergency.

FDA Expands Emergency Use Authorization for Hologic's Aptima® Zika Virus Assay to Include Use with Urine Samples

(PR Newswire) Hologic, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the company's Aptima® Zika virus diagnostic assay to be used with urine samples (collected alongside patient-matched serum or plasma specimens).

Why The Low Zika Numbers In Haiti Might Be Wrong

(National Public Radio) The Dominican Republic has identified nearly 1,000 pregnant women suspected of being infected with the Zika virus. Haiti, which shares the same island, has identified only 22. (Image: National Public Radio)


Sept. 8, 2016

U.S. lawmakers seek compromise on Zika virus funding

(Reuters) U.S. lawmakers sought on Wednesday to break a logjam over $1.1 billion in funding to combat the Zika virus, with the Senate possibly considering legislation as soon as next week, even as one congressman toted a jar full of mosquitoes to the House floor to condemn congressional inaction. (Image: C-SPAN)

Singapore says unclear if local Zika strain causes birth defects

(Reuters) Singapore said on Thursday it did not know if the Zika virus detected in the country could cause the same birth defects and other disorders linked to an outbreak in Latin America. A DNA analysis of the mosquito-borne virus, which has infected almost 300 people in Singapore, including two pregnant women, revealed slight differences between the strains but it was not clear what that meant in terms of the severity of the disease, the health ministry said. (Image: Reuters)

Nace el segundo bebé con zika en Miami-Dade (Second baby with Zika born in Miami-Dade)

(Telemundo) El Zika sigue haciendo estragos en el Condado Miami-Dade, con el anuncio de un nuevo caso de contagio. La Dra. Christine Curry hizo la revelación en una reunión de emergencia sobre el Zika celebrada en Miami Beach City Hall. Ella no dio a conocer cuándo fue que el bebé nació o la severidad de los síntomas. (The Zika epidemic continues in Miami-Dade County, with the announcement of a new infection in a newborn. Dr. Christine Curry made the announcement at an emergency meeting about Zika at City Hall. She did not disclose when the baby was born or the severity of its symptoms.)


Sept. 7, 2016

Zika Funding Fails Again in Congress

(NBC News) Congress came back from a seven-week break Tuesday and once again failed to move forward a bill that would pay for a federal Zika response. As senators traded barbs about whose fault it was, Florida health officials said they'd found seven more home-grown cases of Zika, six of them part of an outbreak in Miami Beach.

WHO strengthens safe sex guidance when returning from Zika zones

(Reuters) The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that men and women returning from areas where the Zika virus is actively spreading should practice safer sex or abstinence for 6 months, regardless of whether they are trying to conceive or showing symptoms. (Image: Reuters)

Zika virus found in tears of mice - U.S. study

(Reuters) A new study has found genetic fragments of Zika in the eyes and the tears of laboratory mice infected with the virus, a finding that offers a potential new route of human infection.

Malaysia confirms first case of Zika in a pregnant woman

(Reuters) Malaysia on Wednesday confirmed its first case of the Zika virus in a pregnant woman, a 27-year-old living in a southern city next to the city-state of Singapore.

Common mosquito cannot transmit Zika: Brazilian scientists

(Indo Asian News Service) Brazilian scientists have denied that the common mosquito known as Culex can transmit the Zika virus, saying that the Aedes aegypti mosquito is known to be a main vector of the disease. At a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, scientists from the Oswaldo Cruz Institute said on Tuesday that a study carried out with the Pasteur Institute in Paris had ruled out the Culex as a vector, Xinhua news agency reported.


Sept. 6, 2016

Malaysian infected by Zika died from heart disease complications: ministry

(Reuters) A 61-year-old man diagnosed with the first case of a locally transmitted Zika infection in Malaysia has died from heart disease complications, and not from the mosquito-borne virus, the health ministry said on Saturday.

Scientists say Singapore Zika is Asian, cases reach 200

(AFP) Singapore today reported 215 cases of Zika infections as scientists in the city-state said the virus strain comes from within Asia and was not imported from Brazil. A week after Singapore reported its first case of locally transmitted Zika infection, local scientists say they have completed genetic sequencing of the virus.

Philippines confirms first case of Zika virus this year: ministry

(Reuters) The Philippines confirmed on Monday its first case of the Zika virus this year and said it was "highly likely" it had been locally transmitted, and it expected more cases after stepping up surveillance. A 45-year old woman who lives in Iloilo city in the central Philippines has the virus, Dr Eric Tayag, spokesman at the health ministry, told a media briefing. (Image: Reuters)

CDC Awards $2.4M to 5 Locales to Fight Zika

(HealthDay News) Four major U.S. cities and one county will share $2.4 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assist in monitoring and dealing with Zika virus-related birth defects, the agency said Friday. Chicago, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles County received money to enhance and coordinate responses to the mosquito-borne virus and speed detection of microcephaly and other birth defects associated with Zika.

Takeda to develop Zika vaccine with U.S. funding

(Jiji Press) Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. said Friday that it will receive funding of up to $312 million from the U.S. government to develop a Zika vaccine. The funding comes from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Honduras registra 41 casos de niños con microcefalia y 139 de Guillain Barré (Honduras reports 41 cases of babies with microcephaly and 139 cases of Guillian Barré)

(EFE) Autoridades sanitarias de Honduras informaron hoy que 41 niños han nacido con microcefalia en 2016 y estiman que la cifra supere los 340 a fin de año. (Health authorities in Honduras reported today that 41 babies had been born with microcephaly in 2016, and they estimated the the total will top 340 by the end of the year.) (Image: EFE)

Texas preparado para enfrentar casos de Zika (Texas preparing to handle Zika caes)

(La Prensa) Con la detección de casos locales de Zika en Florida y un aumento en los viajes a Brasil tras los Juegos Olímpicos de verano, Texas se encuentra en alta alerta por si hubiera transmisión local de zika mediante picaduras de mosquitos e insta a todos a que tomen estrictas precauciones. (With the detection of local cases of Zika in Florida and an increase in travel to Brazil after the Summer Olympics, Texas is on high alert in case there is local transmission of Zika by mosquito bites and urges everyone to take strict precautions.)


Sept. 2, 2016

Florida finds Zika in local mosquitoes, bromeliads blamed

(Associated Press) Florida has found the Zika virus in three groups of mosquitoes trapped in Miami Beach - the first time this has happened in the continental U.S. - and authorities are blaming a particular flower for making mosquito control much more difficult.

Dozens of Australians have been infected with Zika, health department says

(Sydney Morning Herald) Dozens of Australians have been infected with the Zika virus this year and there are concerns more will contract it while travelling in Asia where cases are proliferating.

Where's Zika going next? Maybe China, India, or Nigeria

(Associated Press) Scientists trying to predict the future path of Zika say that 2.6 billion people living in parts of Asia and Africa could be at risk of infection, based on a new analysis of travel, climate and mosquito patterns in those regions.

Zika spraying kills millions of honeybees in South Carolina

(Tribune News Service) here's been some collateral damage in the fight against Zika — millions of honeybees in South Carolina. News outlets report that Dorchester County officials have apologized for killing the bees when the county failed to notify local beekeepers about mosquito spraying last weekend. (Image: Tribune News Services)

Cuba reports remarkable success in containing Zika virus

(Associated Press) Six months after President Raul Castro declared war on the Zika virus in Cuba, a militarized nationwide campaign of intensive mosquito spraying, monitoring and quarantine appears to be working.

115 Zika cases in Singapore, first pregnant woman diagnosed

(Press Trust of India) Singapore has confirmed its first case of a pregnant woman testing positive for the Zika virus infection, as the number of cases of the mosquito-borne virus in the city-state rose to 115. The Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency said the pregnant woman was living in the virus-hit housing and industrial area of Sims Drive/Aljunied Crescent in the southeast of the island.


Sept. 1, 2016

China steps up arrivals checks from Singapore amid Zika outbreak

(Reuters) China intensified its checks on people and goods arriving from Singapore on Thursday, as an outbreak of the Zika virus in the small city-state was confirmed to have spread to at least one person in neighboring Malaysia. (Image: Reuters TV)

Poll: Half of Americans wary of travel to US Zika zones

(Associated Press) A new poll on Americans' health care attitudes finds almost half are wary of traveling to places in the U.S. where people have been infected with the Zika virus by mosquitoes, such as parts of Florida.


Aug. 31, 2016

CDC Almost Out of Zika Money, Director Says

(NBC News) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is almost out of money to fight the Zika virus, the agency's director said Tuesday — just hours before Florida announced three fresh homegrown cases of the infection. (Image: NBC News)

Singapore urges tests for pregnant women with Zika signs

(AFP) Singapore Wednesday urged pregnant women showing symptoms of fever or rashes to get tested for the Zika virus after the number of cases in the city-state soared to 82. The United States and Britain joined Australia and Taiwan in advising pregnant women to avoid non-essential travel to Singapore, while a local health expert warned the infection rate would rise.

Theranos withdraws new Zika test after FDA inspection: WSJ

(Reuters) Blood-testing firm Theranos Inc withdrew its request for emergency clearance of a Zika-virus blood test after U.S. regulators found the company did not include proper patient safeguards in a study on the test, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Three new cases of local Zika transmission in Florida: officials

(Reuters) Florida health officials on Tuesday said they were investigating three new Zika virus cases likely stemming from local mosquito bites in Miami-Dade County, including two cases outside of the known areas of active transmission. (Image: Reuters)

CDC adds Zika-hit Singapore to interim travel guidance list

(Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had added Singapore to its interim travel guidance list, following reports of Zika infections in the country.

CDC urges hearing tests for babies exposed to Zika

(CNN) Any infant exposed to the Zika virus in utero should have their hearing tested after birth, no matter how normal they may appear, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today. The recommendation follows a study of 69 Brazilian infants up to 10 months old who were born with both microcephaly and laboratory-confirmed evidence of Zika infection.


Aug. 30, 2016

3 Drugs identified to potentially fight Zika virus

(United Press International) Three already existing drugs may offer pregnant women and their developing fetuses protection against the damaging effects of Zika virus, a new multicenter study reports.

Pennsylvania firm launches Zika vaccine trial in Puerto Rico

(Associated Press) A Pennsylvania drug company announced Monday that it has launched a clinical trial of an experimental Zika vaccine in Puerto Rico, the part of the U.S. hardest hit by the mosquito-borne virus.

Adult mosquitoes can pass Zika to their offspring: U.S. study

(Reuters) Adult female mosquitoes can pass the Zika virus along to their offspring, U.S. researchers said on Monday, a finding that makes clear the need for pesticide programs that kill both adult mosquitoes and their eggs.


Aug. 29, 2016

FDA expands Zika screening to all US blood centers

(Associated Press) The government told all U.S. blood banks Friday to start screening for Zika, a major expansion intended to protect the nation's blood supply from the mosquito-borne virus.

U.S. FDA issues emergency use authorization for Zika test: Roche

(Reuters) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued emergency authorization for a Zika diagnostics test from Swiss drugmaker Roche, skirting normal approval channels as the regulator moves to fight the disease's spread.

Zika virus: Singapore confirms 41 locally-transmitted cases

(CNN) Forty-one cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed in Singapore, the city-state's Ministry of Health (MOH) said Monday. (Image: CNN)

Officials say no confirmed cases of Zika virus associated with Rio Olympics

(Sporting News) U.N. health officials say they have not confirmed any laboratory cases of the Zika virus in athletes or anyone else associated with the Olympics, which concluded Sunday.


Aug. 26, 2016

Brazilian scientists find new Zika-linked brain disorder in adults

(Reuters) Scientists in Brazil have uncovered a new brain disorder associated with Zika infections in adults: an autoimmune syndrome called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, or ADEM, that attacks the brain and spinal cord.

Zika hides in vagina, baby's bloodstream longer than previously thought

(CNN) The virus can hide in vaginal tissue and the bloodstream of infected infants much longer than anyone expected, with dangerous consequences.

Is Zika coming to Texas?

(Austin American-Statesman) According to state health officials, Texas will likely see local transmission of the Zika virus. (Image: Austin American-Statesman)

CDC gives nearly $7 million to fight Zika

(Atlanta Business Chronicle) The CDC has given out another $6.8 million to help fight the Zika virus. The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday it has awarded the money to a group of national public health partners — including the Atlanta-based Task Force for Global Health — to assist state, tribal, local, and territorial jurisdictions with their Zika responses.

Dolphins, Marlins increase Zika-control efforts at stadiums

(Associated Press) The Miami Dolphins and Miami Marlins say they've intensified mosquito-control treatments at their stadiums because of the Zika virus.

Aug. 25, 2016

Zika virus may linger in babies' blood for months, with unknown effects

(USA Today) The Zika virus may linger in the blood of an infected baby for more than two months, according to a new study from Brazil that raises concerns about the potential of the virus to continue inflicting damage to an infant's brain even after birth. (Image: Getty)

Orasure to receive up to $16.6M in federal funding to develop its Zika diagnostic

(Medical Device Daily) As the government ramps up its response to the Zika virus scare, Bethlehem, Pa.-based Orasure Technologies Inc. will receive up to $16.6 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a rapid molecular diagnostic that tests for the disease's antibodies. The funding comes from the agency's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Costa Rica registers first microcephaly birth linked to Zika

(Reuters) Costa Rica has registered its first case of a baby born with microcephaly linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the country's health ministry said on Wednesday.

Travel Alert: CDC Adds The Bahamas to List of Zika-Infected Countries

(MRC TV) The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) issued a press release on Tuesday warning Americans traveling to The Bahamas that a local transmission of Zika has been reported on the island of New Providence, including the capital city of Nassau. (Image: MRC TV)

Yale researchers find drug that may fight off Zika in pregnant women

(New Haven Register Citizen) An existing approved drug may stop the Zika virus from hindering brain development in the human fetus, preventing the catastrophic birth defect microcephaly, according to research reported Wednesday by Yale scientists.


Aug. 24, 2016

Florida: 5 new Zika cases including 1 in the Tampa Bay area

(Associated Press) Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday announced a non-travel-related case of Zika in the Tampa Bay region. It's the first in the state outside the Miami area, but Scott said there wasn't enough evidence to date to declare a new zone of local transmission.

Brain Scans of Brazilian Babies Show Array of Zika Effects

(New York Times) A study of brain scans and ultrasound pictures of 45 Brazilian babies whose mothers were infected with Zika in pregnancy shows that the virus can inflict serious damage to many different parts of the fetal brain beyond microcephaly, the condition of unusually small heads that has become the sinister signature of Zika.

New Zika Clone Could be New Model for Developing Vaccine

(Infection Control Today) Stopping the explosive spread of Zika virus - which can lead to birth defects in babies born to infected mothers - depends on genetic insights gleaned through new tools and models. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health recently cloned an epidemic strain of the virus, creating a model that can help biologists develop and test strategies for stopping the pandemic.

HHS Moves to Accelerate Zika Vaccine Development

(Journal of the American Medical Association) The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is funding the accelerated development of a Zika vaccine through 1 of its Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADMs). ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will provide more than $17.9 million over 30 months to Emergent BioSolutions Inc to develop the vaccine out of the CIADM.


Aug. 23, 2016

Miami Schools Take Steps To Protect Returning Students From Zika

(National Public Radio) tudents returned to school on Monday in Miami amid a new concern: the threat of Zika. Nine schools in Miami-Dade County are in or near a zone where nearly a month ago health officials confirmed that mosquitoes are spreading the virus. (Image: NPR)

Florida Sends Another $5 Million to Fight Zika in Miami-Dade

(Associated Press) Gov. Rick Scott has announced that the Florida Department of Health is allocating another $5 million in funding to Miami-Dade County for Zika preparedness and mosquito control.

U.S. health official: Texas, Louisiana next for Zika virus

(Washington Post) he National Institutes of Health's Anthony Fauci warned that Texas and Louisiana could be next for Zika. In the weeks since mosquitoes carrying the virus hit U.S. borders, they have already spread from a small suburban community in South Florida to Miami's most popular tourist spot, South Beach. The development prompted a travel advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday urging pregnant women to avoid the area. 


Aug. 22, 2016

Health official: Gulf Coast states most vulnerable to Zika

(Associated Press) A National Institutes of Health official said Sunday that the Zika virus could "hang around" the United States for a year or two. Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC's "This Week" that other Gulf Coast states, besides Florida, are most vulnerable to the spread of the disease.

Puerto Rico reports 1st death from paralysis linked to Zika

(Associated Press) Puerto Rico on Friday reported its first death from a paralysis condition that developed from a Zika infection as the U.S. territory fights an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus. The victim was a man between 35 and 45 years old from the San Juan metro area who died from Guillain-Barre, according to state epidemiologist Brenda Rivera.

Health official warns Zika could spread across U.S. Gulf

(Reuters) One of the top U.S. public health officials on Sunday warned that the mosquito-borne Zika virus could extend its reach across the U.S. Gulf Coast after officials last week confirmed it as active in the popular tourist destination of Miami Beach. (Image: Reuters)

UTRGV researchers test for Zika along the border amid need for federal funding

(KENS-TV San Antonio) With every new case of the Zika virus comes a growing urgency to develop a vaccine. Researchers at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley say that they are working hard to find that vaccine despite limited federal funding.

Congresswoman, Mayor Say More Resources Needed to Stop Zika

(Associated Press) U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine say more federal resources are needed to combat the spread of the Zika virus in South Florida. They're holding a news conference Monday at a popular Miami Beach cafe in an effort to urge Congress to return from its summer break to deal with the virus outbreak.

First Confirmed Zika case in Matagorda County

(Crossroads Today, Victoria) The Matagorda Regional Medical Center Emergency Room received a patient showing the traditional symptoms consistent with the Zika virus on August 12, 2016. The hospital followed the recommended protocol with a consultation with an infection control nurse. (Image: Crossroads Today)


Aug. 18, 2016

Doctors report probable Zika transmission via blood transfusion

(United Press International) Experts have wondered if the Zika virus might sometimes be transmitted through blood transfusions, and a cluster of infections in Brazil seems to support that notion.  Doctors believe that a blood donor passed along the typically mosquito-borne virus in late January to two hospitalized patients who needed transfusions.

Evidence for Transmission of Zika Virus by Platelet Transfusion

(New England Journal of Medicine) Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne virus that has important secondary means of transmission that include perinatal and sexual modes. The potential for transmission in transfused donated blood components has been a concern owing to the detection of ZIKV viremia in healthy blood donors.

Metro Health has a plan to fight Zika before it reaches San Antonio

(KENS-TV, San Antonio) Zika is in Texas, and the latest case is a first as an El Paso man became infected after traveling to Miami. The latest case in El Paso brings the statewide total to 109. (Image: KENS-TV)

Zika and Blood Transfusion

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – update) Zika virus currently poses a low risk to the blood supply in the continental US, but this could change depending on how many people become infected with the virus.

Zika concerns grow in New York City

(New York Newsday) Health officials and Democratic elected leaders in New York City warned Tuesday of the growing threat of Zika transmission and called on Republicans in Congress to pass a $1.9 billion appropriation bill to fight the virus.

CDC Adds Three Caribbean Destinations To Travel Alert List

(Travel Market Report) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added the Cayman Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and Turks and Caicos to its Zika virus travel alert list. (Image: Travel Market Report)

Report: Cost of Birth Defects Could Add Up to $4M Over a Lifetime

(Wired magazine) The real price of Zika, and the reason the disease has gone from arboviral nobody to world-wide bugaboo, is the devastating birth defects that can appear in children born to infected women.

Guatemala confirms first Zika-linked microcephaly, paralysis

(AFP) The main hospital in Guatemala today confirmed the country’s first case of a Zika-related birth defect in a newborn and two cases of a related nerve disorder.

TTU Researchers Lead New Mosquito Testing Across the Panhandle

(KAMC-TV Lubbock) Concerns about Zika virus are pushing Texas to learn more about which areas of the Lone Star State are more at risk if the virus were to spread. Officials at Texas Tech University have been collaborating with the state health department about how to combat Zika. (Image: Texas Department of Health Services)


Aug. 17, 2016

New map details threat of Zika across Europe, U.S.

(Kansas University News) With Zika sparking anxiety at the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil, and now being transmitted in Florida through contact with mosquitoes, accurately mapping the distribution of the virus is increasingly urgent. Accounting for a host of often-overlooked drivers of transmission, a team of University of Kansas researchers has mapped Zika risk around the world with unprecedented resolution while considering more factors than previous models. (Image: Kansas University)

Global database for women exposed to Zika

(AFP) Swiss doctors have asked thousands of colleagues worldwide to provide data for the first global registry of women exposed to Zika, the team's lead researcher said Tuesday.

Air attack against Zika hit and miss in Miami, CDC reports

(Miami Herald) Miami-Dade County’s air war on the Zika-carrying mosquito is working, federal officials report — but only in a small section getting a double-barrel dose of chemicals. (Image: Miami Herald)

Almost 500 New Yorkers have tested positive for Zika virus

(New York Post) Nearly 500 New Yorkers — including 49 pregnant women — have tested positive for the Zika ­virus, a more than tenfold increase since April, city officials said Tuesday.

Haiti finds case of microcephaly linked to Zika virus

(Reuters) Haiti has identified its first case of the birth defect microcephaly linked to the Zika virus, a senior health ministry official said on Tuesday. Gabriel Thimothe, director general at the ministry of public health and population, said the case was confirmed on Saturday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Image: Reuters)

Las autoridades de P.Rico prevén que 5 % de la población se contagie con zika (Puerto Rican authorities predict 5 percent of the population will be infected with Zika)

(EFE) La secretaria del Departamento de Salud de Puerto Rico, Ana Ríus, dijo hoy que en el plazo de los próximos cinco meses cerca de 200.000 personas se podrían contagiar por el virus del Zika, lo que supone cerca del 5 % de la población de la isla. (The Secretary of the Department of Health of Puerto Rico, Ana Rius, said today that within the next five months nearly 200,000 people could be infected by the virus Zika, representing about 5 percent of the population of the island.) (Image: EFE)

More Insights Into Zika Virus Infection and Birth Outcomes

(Journal of the AMA) Physicians are finding a wider range of congenital abnormalities beyond microcephaly that appear to be associated with Zika virus infection in utero, observations that suggest the presence of a new congenital syndrome, according to a report from the World Health Organization.


Aug. 16, 2016

Texas resident's Zika case linked to Miami travel

(Associated Press) Health officials say an El Paso resident who recently traveled to an area of Miami where local Zika transmission occurred has tested positive for the virus.

Flooding might increase mosquitoes and Zika risk in Louisiana

(USA Today) The massive flooding across southeastern Louisiana over the weekend could bring an increased risk for the Zika virus after the waters recede, an expert in tropical medicine said Sunday.

Canada developing national Zika surveillance program as cases continue to grow

(Toronto Sun) Canada is developing a national surveillance program to follow pregnant women who have tested positive for Zika to better track and understand its impact. The news comes at a time when the Public Health Agency of Canada has reported the first fetus with “severe neurological congenital anomalies” resulting from the Zika virus as well as a steady increase in cases. (Image: Getty)

Texas Children's Hospital Providing Zika Prevention Kits to Families

(WOAI-AM) Texas Children's Hospital is partnering with HEB to provide Zika Prevention Kits to families as the threat of the virus edges closer to the Houston area.  The kits include insecticide, duct tape, and an informational brochure on Zika. 


Aug. 15, 2016

US declares health emergency in Puerto Rico due to Zika

(Associated Press) The U.S. government on Friday declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico as a result of a Zika epidemic. The declaration allows the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to award grants, access emergency funds and temporarily appoint personnel where needed, among other things.

A public health emergency is declared for Puerto Rico

(USA Today) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency for Puerto Rico which will free up funding to help with the fight against the Zika virus. (Image: USA TODAY)

China Puts U.S. on Import Restriction List Over Zika

(Global Trade magazine) China as placed the United States on a list of countries which must take precautions that its shipments are mosquito-free to prevent the spread of the Zika virus. China first promulgated import rules on Zika on March 2, but only added the U.S. to the list last week.

Another Zika case reported outside Miami's transmission zone

(Reuters) Three more people in Florida have tested positive for Zika caused by local mosquitoes, including another person who does not live in the one-square-mile (2.6-square-km) area believed to be the hub of local transmission, state officials said on Friday. (Image: Reuters)


Aug. 12, 2016

U.S. government shifts $81 million to Zika vaccine research

(Reuters) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has shifted $81 million in funds from other projects to continue work on developing vaccines to fight Zika in the absence of any funding from U.S. lawmakers.

US official urges Puerto Rico to step up fight against Zika

(Associated Press) The U.S. surgeon general on Thursday urged Puerto Rico to step up its public education campaign against Zika as he warned that 25 percent of the island will be infected with the mosquito-borne virus by year's end.

USAID Announces Initial Results of Grand Challenge to Combat Zika

(USAID) The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today 21 potentially game changing solutions to mitigate the spread and impact of the Zika virus.  These award nominees underwent a rigorous review process, and have been selected for accelerated development, testing and deployment. (Image: USAID)

Florida Zika cases rise to 25 as back-to-school day nears

(Associated Press) Florida's caseload of Zika spread by Miami mosquitoes has risen to 25, and U.S. health officials continue to warn pregnant women to avoid the infection zone despite the governor's assurances that the area of concern is shrinking.

Men may be able to spread Zika through sex for 6 months

(USA Today) Men may be able to spread Zika through sex for six months, much longer than previously reported, according to a study released Thursday. Authors of the study found genetic material from the virus in a man's semen 181 days after he was infected.

New Zika Threat to Babies: Late-Onset Microcephaly

(WebMD) CDC researchers have made a startling discovery about microcephaly, a devastating birth defect caused by the Zika virus: It can affect babies late into a mother’s pregnancy and not become apparent until months after they are born. Up to now, researchers have said babies were most susceptible to the virus when a woman was infected early in a pregnancy.

'Only a matter of time': Canada's first baby with Zika-related birth defects reported  

(Toronto Sun) Canada’s public health agency is reporting the country’s first baby with “severe neurological congenital anomalies” resulting from the Zika virus.

Two Zika proteins responsible for microcephaly identified

(MedicalXpress) USC researchers have tracked down two Zika proteins potentially responsible for thousands of microcephaly cases in Brazil and elsewhere—taking one small step toward preventing Zika-infected mothers from birthing babies with abnormally small heads. (Image: CDC)


Aug. 11, 2016

4 more people infected with Zika virus in Florida

(CBS News) Florida reported on Tuesday that four more people have been infected with the Zika virus linked to birth defects. The four new cases are thought to have originated in the same Wynwood section of Miami. (Image: CBS News)

Amid congressional inaction, Democrats urge 'extraordinary steps' to fight Zika

(Sinclair Broadcast Group) Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure funding continues for the development of a Zika vaccine, with or without the help of Congress.

Bahamas reports 1st Zika case; says it was contracted abroad

(Associated Press) Authorities in the Bahamas are reporting the archipelago's first Zika case and say it was contracted elsewhere. The health minister, Dr. Michael Perry, said Wednesday that the patient is a man who recently traveled to Jamaica.

Americans are still not worried about Zika, poll finds

(Washington Post) Zika’s first mosquito-borne transmission in the United States has not sparked alarm for the vast majority of Americans, who do not fear infection by the disease, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Fort Worth Gets Aggressive in Fight Against West Nile, Zika

(NBCDFW) In what has become a battle between man and virus-carrying mosquitoes, Fort Worth has a new strategy to target neighborhoods where the West Nile virus or Zika virus is a problem. (Image: NBCDFW)

Mother of Texas child killed by Zika went to El Salvador while pregnant

(KPRC-TV) A newborn has become the state's first Zika-related death. Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health, said the baby's mother had traveled to El Salvador during her pregnancy; it's likely she unknowingly contracted the virus while there.


Aug. 10, 2016

Study details possible link between Zika and severe joint condition

(Reuters) Scientists in Brazil studying a possible link between Zika virus infection in the womb and severe joint abnormalities in babies say they should be added to the growing list of conditions to watch for. In an analysis of seven cases of children with joint deformities, the researchers said the abnormalities - a condition known as arthrogryposis - could be a result of Zika's effect on the developing baby's motor neurons, cells that control the contraction or relaxation of muscles.

HHS awards $4.1 million to Hologic to develop better Zika blood screening test

(Health IT News) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response announced a $4.1 million agreement with Hologic, of Marlborough, Massachusetts, to advance the development of a blood screening test that will help detect the presence of Zika in the blood supply.  


Aug. 9, 2016

Harris County confirms first Zika-related death in Texas

(Houston Chronicle) A baby who died shortly after being born had birth defects associated with the Zika virus, Harris County officials said Tuesday. The newborn girl's death would be the second fatality in the continental U.S. linked to the virus and the first death in Texas. Harris County officials said the mother had recently traveled during her pregnancy to Latin America, where they believe she became infected with the virus.

Florida is investigating apparent new case of locally transmitted Zika

(Reuters) Florida health officials are investigating a new non-travel- related case of Zika virus in Palm Beach County, but it is not yet clear whether the person contracted the virus from local mosquitoes or from a recent trip to Miami. (Image: Reuters)

Austin biotech firm joins fight against Zika

(Austin Business Journal) Luminex Corp. has received federal authorization for a technology that can test for a broad range of indicators of the Zika virus in patients, giving physicians a new tool to combat the mosquito-borne disease that is causing anxiety as its gains a foothold in the continental U.S.

Cayman Islands Reports 1st Case of Locally Transmitted Zika

(New York Times) The Cayman Islands is reporting its first local transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus that has been spreading across the Americas since last year. The acting medical officer of the British Caribbean territory announced Monday that a Grand Cayman man appears to be the first local case of Zika on the three islands.

LabFinder.com Launches Online Resource Center for Need-to-Know Zika Information

(PRNewswire) LabFinder.com, a convenient online platform for patients to schedule their laboratory and radiology tests and access test results, has created an online Zika Resource Center providing Americans with current information about the growing concern of Zika.

Texas physicians fighting potential Zika epidemic

(Orange County, Texas, Record Live) With cases of local Zika virus transmission now being reported in Florida, Texas physicians and state officials are preparing to confront inevitable local transmission here, reports Texas Medicine magazine. Local transmission means mosquitoes in the area carry the Zika virus and have bitten someone and infected him or her with the virus. Zika, a primarily mosquito-borne illness, has become a major concern for physicians and other public health experts since outbreaks began spreading in other parts of the world in 2015.


Aug. 8, 2016

Florida governor criticizes Washington for lagging in Zika fight

(Reuters) Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott on Sunday accused the federal government of lagging in providing assistance to combat the spread of the Zika virus in a Miami-area neighborhood, the site of the first U.S. transmission of the virus. (Image: Reuters)

Greg Abbott addresses state’s Zika preparedness

(KXAN-TV, Austin) In a video released by the Governor’s Office Sunday, Greg Abbott addresses the state’s Zika preparedness and encourages all Texans to take an active role in combating the spread of the virus.

Marco Rubio: women with Zika should not be allowed abortions

(MSN) Florida senator Marco Rubio has said women infected with the Zika virus should not be allowed to have abortions, even if their babies will suffer from microcephaly, the severe developmental disorder than can result from infection with the disease. (Image: CQ Roll Call)

Zika Cases Surge In Puerto Rico As Mosquitoes Flourish

(NPR) The Zika outbreak in Puerto Rico is expanding rapidly. Recently, the island has been reporting more than a thousand new cases of Zika each week. The situation is expected to get worse before it gets better.

Puerto Rico reports elderly victim infected with Zika dies

(Associated Press) Health officials announced Friday that an elderly person infected with Zika has died in Puerto Rico as the U.S. territory battles what federal authorities call a silent epidemic.

FDA approves Zika-fighting genetically modified mosquito

(CNN) After months of reviewing public comments to its draft environmental impact study, the Food and Drug Administration announced today that it is officially giving OX513A, a genetically modified male mosquito developed by British company, Oxitec, a clean bill of health. The decision gives the federal green light for the use of the mosquito in a field trial this fall in a small Florida neighborhood.


Aug. 4, 2016

U.S. health researchers test Zika vaccine as funds run low

(Reuters) U.S. government researchers said on Wednesday they have begun their first clinical trial of a Zika vaccine while the Obama administration told lawmakers funds to fight the virus would run out in the coming weeks due to congressional inaction.

Texas Medicaid to cover mosquito repellent amid Zika fears

(Associated Press) Texas Medicaid will begin providing mosquito repellent to all expectant mothers and women between the ages of 10 and 45, as public health officials grapple with the likelihood that Texas will see at least some local transmissions of the Zika virus.

Cuba reports two cases of Zika contracted locally

(Reuters) Cuba reported on Wednesday two new cases of residents contracting the mosquito-borne Zika virus locally, in a setback for the Caribbean country that has taken a series of measures in an attempt to stave off the epidemic.


Aug. 3, 2016

CDC: Mosquito eradication difficult in Miami neighborhood

(Associated Press) The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says officials are finding it challenging to eradicate mosquitoes in a part of Miami where 14 people appear to have contracted the Zika virus.

Local Zika Virus Infection Diagnosed Outside of Affected Area in Miami

(ABC News Radio) A new case of locally transmitted Zika virus has been diagnosed outside of the 1-square-mile outbreak area in northern Miami initially identified by health officials, the Florida Health Department said Tuesday.

Texas gets one of four largest shares of CDC's $16 million Zika grant

(Dallas Morning News) Texas will be one of four states to receive $720,000 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further Zika research. The CDC on Tuesday announced $16 million in grants to 40 states and U.S. territories to monitor birth defects associated with Zika, a virus often transmitted to humans via mosquito bites. (Image: Dallas Morning News)

Texas A&M, Zika Foundation to host event for students to innovate ways to battle virus

(Bryan Eagle) Texas A&M University students are preparing to do their part to develop new ways to defend against mosquito-carried viruses such as Zika at the upcoming Innovate Against Zika event. Scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 18, students will work on innovations in the areas of mosquito control, household improvements and community resiliency and sustainability during the three-day event.

Florida to Begin Aerial Spraying of Insecticides to Control Zika

(Reuters) Florida will conduct an aerial insecticide spraying campaign at dawn on Wednesday in an effort to kill mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, officials in Miami-Dade County said.

Health Officials Continue to Test for Zika

(KRGV-TV, Rio Grande Valley) Local health officials are keeping a close eye on the Zika situation in Florida. They said it's only a matter of time before the virus is being transmitted in the Rio Grande Valley.


Aug. 2, 2016

10 more cases of local Zika transmission in Florida

(CNN) More people in Florida may have caught the Zika virus after being bitten by local mosquitoes, Gov. Rick Scott announced today. On Friday, state health officials confirmed that four people had obtained Zika from mosquitoes in a square mile area just north of downtown Miami.

Zika outbreak prompts travel warning for area of Miami

(Associated Press) In a highly unusual travel warning, health officials advised pregnant women to avoid a part of Miami where mosquitoes are apparently transmitting Zika directly to humans. (Image: Associated Press)

Homegrown Zika raises more questions about the evolving risk

(Associated Press) Homegrown mosquitoes have infected more than a dozen people with Zika in a small area of Miami, and officials are recommending that pregnant women stay away from the neighborhood. The Zika infections are the first from mosquito bites on the U.S. mainland.

CDC: All pregnant women should be assessed for Zika exposure

(USA Today) All pregnant women in the U.S. should be assessed for possible Zika exposure during every prenatal visit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. (Image: USA Today)

Zika Vaccine in First Round of Testing as First Local Outbreak Hits Florida

(ABC News Radio) Researchers are one step closer to creating an approved Zika vaccine, with the first round of safety trials already underway. Drug companies have shown success in preclinical trials, in which they have induced immunity in mice and monkeys, indicating a greater likelihood that the vaccine could prevent infection in humans.

Get Ready Soon For a Zika Outbreak In Houston Because Doctors Say It's Coming

(Houston Press) As health officials in south Florida grapple with the first U.S. outbreak of the Zika virus, Houston doctors are warning an outbreak is imminent in Harris County.

Zika strikes overseas U.S. troops

(Military Times) Thirty-three active-duty service members have contracted Zika since the Pentagon began tracking infections earlier this year, including one who is expecting a baby, according to Defense Department surveillance records. (Image: Military Times)


Aug, 1, 2016

More locally transmitted Zika in U.S. expected: official

(Reuters) The United States will likely see more cases of local Zika virus transmission going forward, a U.S. health official warned on Sunday, although it is unlikely to turn into a broader situation as seen in Brazil or Puerto Rico.

The Zika Virus: A Healthwise special with Karin McCay

(KCBD-TV, Lubbock) It might seem like Zika appeared out of nowhere last year. But the Zika virus was first identified in in 1947 in the Zika Forest of Uganda. It was considered a minor league disease that caused flu like symptoms. (Image: KCBD)

What to Know About First Local Zika Outbreak in Continental US

(Good Morning America) For the first time in the continental U.S. the Zika virus has been spread locally through infected mosquitoes. Here's what you need to know about the latest Zika outbreak.

AMA Urges the Administration and Congress to Take Immediate Action to Support Nation's Public Health Response to Zika Virus

(MarketWired) Statement attributable to: Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., President, American Medical Association: “Today's news that it is highly likely that cases of mosquito-transmitted Zika virus exist in the continental United States is no surprise. This should be a wake-up call to Congress and the Administration that they must resolve their differences and immediately make the necessary resources available for our country to combat the growing threat of the virus.”

Florida investigation links four recent Zika cases to local mosquito-borne virus transmission

(CDC) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been informed by the State of Florida that Zika virus infections in four people were likely caused by bites of local Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.  The cases are likely the first known occurrence of local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the continental United States.  CDC is closely coordinating with Florida officials who are leading the ongoing investigations, and at the state’s request, sent a CDC medical epidemiologist to provide additional assistance.

Could non-travel related Zika outbreak affect the blood supply?

(WTSP-TV Tampa) Following the discovery of non-travel-related Zika cases in South Florida, the FDA is now ordering blood banks to screen all donors for the Zika virus. If the test comes back positive, that blood has to be thrown out.

Health Experts: Local transmission of Zika ‘unavoidable’ in East Texas

(WAFB-TV, Tyler) On Friday, the CDC announced the first possible domestically-transmitted cases of the Zika virus in the United States. East Texas health experts believe that local transmission here could happen soon. (Image: WAFB)

The Latest: Senator seeks reconvening of Congress over Zika

(Associated Press) U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reconvene Congress so lawmakers can pass an emergency spending bill to fight the spread of the Zika virus.

UT researchers in Galveston say they've made promising discovery regarding Zika treatments

(FOX 7, Austin) Researchers at the UT Texas Medical Branch in Galveston say they have made a promising discovery regarding Zika.

Zika Cases Spike in Puerto Rico as Virus Spreads ‘Silently and Rapidly’

(ABC News Radio) The Zika virus is rapidly spreading though Puerto Rico, leading to more than 5,500 infections, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday.

July 29, 2016

FDA temporarily halts blood donation in two Florida counties over Zika fears

(Washington Post) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking blood centers in two Florida counties to immediately stop collections. The counties are investigating possible local transmission of Zika virus. 

FDA takes steps to protect blood supply in Florida amid Zika probe

(Reuters) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ordered all blood collection centers in Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties to stop collecting blood as state health department officials continue to investigate four possible cases of local transmission of the Zika virus

Advice to Blood Collection Establishments on Non-Travel Related Cases of Zika Virus in Florida

(CDC) In consideration of the possibility of an emerging local outbreak of Zika virus, and as a prudent measure to help assure the safety of blood and blood products, FDA is requesting that all blood establishments in Miami-Dade County and Broward County cease collecting blood immediately until the blood establishments implement testing of each individual unit of blood collected in the two counties with an available investigational donor screening test for Zika virus RNA or until the blood establishments implement the use of an approved or investigational pathogen inactivation technology.

The Latest: OneBlood starts Zika testing for all supplies

(Associated Press) Officials at Florida's main supplier of blood say they'll begin testing all blood collections for the Zika virus using an investigational donor screening test. In a statement Thursday, OneBlood said it was working as quickly as possible to comply with an "unanticipated" request from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Blood Bank of Hawaii boosts testing to check for Zika

(Associated Press) Officials with the Blood Bank of Hawaii say they are launching a new screening procedure for donations to ensure all blood is free of the Zika virus. Hawaii's blood supply will undergo additional testing to check for Zika, which is transmitted through mosquito bites, sexual contact and potentially blood transfusion. The screening is expected to begin on all donations on Sept. 6.

Alabama to start screening blood for Zika Virus

(WSFA-TV) Officials with LifeSouth Blood Centers confirm we are approaching another emergency need, and amid Zika concerns, a new Zika test will be introduced to Alabama next week. (Image: WSFA-TV)

Texas Children’s Hospital Opens ‘Zika Clinic’ For Pregnant Women

(Houston Public Media) Starting in August, the new clinic will bring together Texas Children’s specialists on Friday mornings to see patients who have potentially been exposed to the Zika virus. Any doctor from the Houston area can make a referral; previously the specialists had only been seeing patients referred by a TCH-affiliated physician.

WHO chief going to the Olympics, says Zika risk low

(Reuters) The risk of Zika virus infections at the Olympic Games is both low and manageable, the chief of the World Health Organization said on Friday, a week before the event kicks off in Rio de Janeiro. (Image: Reuters)


July 28, 2016

4 Non-Travel-Related Florida Zika Virus Cases Under Review

(Patch) Florida’s confirmed tally of travel-related Zika virus cases climbed to 381 on Wednesday with the announcement of 17 new patients statewide. The Florida Department of Health also announced it is now investigating four cases that may have been contracted within the state.

Zika reached 2 more Caribbean islands in July

(Business Insider) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added two Dutch islands in the Caribbean to the list of countries and territories with local transmission of the Zika virus in July: St. Eustatius and neighboring Saba. (Image: Business Insider, CDC)

We’re Fighting Zika ‘With One Hand Tied Behind Our Backs,’ CDC Director Says

(Time) The lack of emergency funding for Zika is already taking a toll on research and vaccines.

Zika Now Tied to Miscarriage

(HealthDay News) Dutch researchers are reporting a case of miscarriage tied to maternal infection with the mosquito-borne Zika virus. The researchers said a 31-year-old Dutch woman lost her baby at 11 weeks' gestation, after contracting Zika on a trip to the South American country of Suriname.

GeneOne Life Science Doses First Subjects in Zika Vaccine Clinical Trial

(PR Web) GeneOne Life Science, Inc. (“GeneOne” KOSPI: 011000) today announced the dosing of the first subjects in its multi-center Phase I trial to evaluate the Zika DNA vaccine (GLS-5700). Refer to ClinicalTrials.Gov, study number NCT02809443. GeneOne has received approval from both the US FDA and Health Canada’s Health Products and Food Branch to conduct the clinical trial for GLS-5700. The study will be conducted at clinical sites in Miami, University of Pennsylvania Hospital, and Quebec City, Canada.


July 27, 2016

IBM steps up efforts in fight against Zika

(Reuters) International Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday it would provide its technology and resources to help track the spread of the Zika virus. Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), a leading research institution affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Health, plans to use IBM's technology to analyze information from official data about human travel patterns to anecdotal observations recorded on social media. (Image: Reuters)

Researchers 'Solve' Key Zika Virus Protein Structure

(USAgNet) Researchers have revealed the molecular structure of a protein produced by the Zika virus that is thought to be involved in the virus's reproduction and its interaction with a host's immune system.

Honduras detects eight cases of babies with Zika-related defect

(Reuters) Health officials in the Central American nation of Honduras on Tuesday reported eight cases of newborns with microcephaly born to women who were infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy.


July 26, 2016

Woman With Zika Virus in Spain Gives Birth to Baby With Microcephaly

(New York Times) A woman infected with the Zika virus gave birth on Monday to a baby with microcephaly in Barcelona, in what is probably the first case of its kind in Europe, according to the hospital where the infant was born. (Image: Associated Press)

1.6 million childbearing women could be at risk of Zika virus infection, study suggests

(Science Daily) Research by scientists in the US and UK has estimated that up to 1.65 million childbearing women in Central and South America could become infected by the Zika virus by the end of the first wave of the epidemic.

Olympics unlikely to worsen global spread of Zika

(Reuters) People visiting Brazil for the 2016 Olympics won't significantly add to the global spread of Zika virus, according to a new analysis. Most likely, only six to 80 people visiting Brazil for the Olympics would be infected with Zika virus, and between one and 16 would feel any symptoms, researchers suggest. (Image: Reuters)

First known case of female-to-male Zika transmission announced

(CNN) In another startling Zika development, the first case of female-to-male sexual transmission of the Zika virus has occurred in New York, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced. Up until now, it was thought that the only likely route of sexual transmission was male-to-female or male-to-male.

Colombia declares its Zika epidemic over

(AFP) Colombia declared Monday its Zika epidemic is over, but warned that the mosquito-borne virus, which is blamed for causing brain damage in babies, would continue circulating on a smaller scale.


July 25, 2016

Blood donation center checking donated blood for Zika

(WSVN Miami) Concerns surfacing about the Zika virus has one Florida blood donation center checking its collections. OneBlood will begin testing some of its donated blood and wants to make sure that hospitals have access to Zika-screened blood for high-risk patients, including pregnant women.

(Huffington Post) If you’re headed to the Olympic Games in Rio next month, rest assured that it’s highly unlikely you’ll return home afterward with the Zika virus. A recent analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared the expected 350,000 to 500,000 Olympic spectators and participants to the number of total estimated travelers to Zika-affected countries during 2015. (Image: Getty Images)


July 21-22, 2016

Zika in Florida: 2nd possible non-travel case investigated

(CNN) Health officials are investigating a possible non-travel related case of Zika virus in Broward County, Florida, the Florida Department of Health said Thursday. This individual has not traveled to an area where the virus is circulating. However, sexual transmission of the virus from a person who has traveled has not been ruled out, Florida Department of Health Communications Director Mara Gambineri said.

‘Very bad news for Brazil’: Zika virus found in second mosquito species

(Globe and Mail) Research by Brazil’s top public-health institute, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), has found the Zika virus in a mosquito species called Culex quinquefasciatus – far more common than the species that government had said was the vector for the virus.

CDC awards $60 million to help states and territories battle Zika

(CDC) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will begin making awards totaling nearly $60 million to states, cities, and territories to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika virus disease and adverse health outcomes that can result from Zika infection, including the serious birth defect microcephaly. (Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Zika investigations eating up funds, Florida officials say

(Associated Press) Florida mosquito control officials worry they won't be able to keep up their efforts to contain the bugs that carry Zika without federal funding, even as concern mounts that the first infection from a mosquito bite on the U.S. mainland is near.

Zika Virus May Remain in Semen Longer than Previously Thought

(ABC Radio News) The Zika virus has been found in one man’s semen 93 days after he first reported symptoms, topping the previous known record of 62 days, according to a letter published in Lancet Infectious Diseases this month.

Quebec team to begin Zika vaccine tests on humans

(Associated Press) A Quebec City-based research team has received the green light to begin testing a Zika vaccine on humans in collaboration with U.S.-based partners. The researchers based at Universite Laval are the first in Canada to be authorized by Canada's federal health agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct clinical tests.

UTMB Researchers Find First Direct Evidence That A. aegypti Mosquito Transmits Zika Virus

(Infection Control Today) In collaboration with colleagues from Mexico, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers were the first to directly connect the Aedes aegypti mosquito with Zika transmission in the Americas, during an outbreak in southern Mexico. The findings are available in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Scientists probe Zika congenital syndrome at Brazil meeting

(Relief Web Online) Scientists from Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, experts from the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), and officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are probing the details of Zika virus infection and its effects on the fetus at a technical meeting in Recife, Pernambuco this week. They plan to advance toward defining exactly what Zika congenital syndrome would be, based on data they have collected so far.


July 20, 2016

Florida health department investigates possible local Zika transmission

(Reuters) Florida health officials said on Tuesday they are investigating a case of Zika virus infection that does not appear to have stemmed from travel to another region with an outbreak.

Florida May Have Its First Zika Virus Outbreak

(NBC News) Florida health officials said Tuesday they were investigating a possible case of Zika that wasn't carried back by a traveler. If it's confirmed, it would be the first evidence that Zika has spread to mosquitoes in the continental U.S.

Florida probes possible case of Zika in Miami area

(USA Today) The Florida Department of Health is joining with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate a possible non-travel-related case of the deadly Zika virus in the Miami - Dade County area.


July 19, 2016

How does Zika spread? Utah infection raises new questions

(Associated Press) Health officials are trying to unravel how a relative may have picked up a Zika infection from a Utah man who died. The tropical virus rarely spreads from person to person, not like the flu or the measles. The virus can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus and cause birth defects. And it can also be spread through sex. But it is mostly spread by mosquitoes. (Image: Associated Press)

New drug found to block Zika virus journey from mum to her fetus

(DNA News India) Looks like a way out has been found to prevent Zika virus to travel from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Zika virus can infect numerous cell types in the human placenta and amniotic sac, according to researchers at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley.


July 18, 2016

Puerto Rico Sees Big Increase in Zika Virus Case Count

(NBC News) Puerto Rico government officials on Friday reported the biggest weekly rise in Zika cases that the U.S. territory has ever seen.  Health Secretary Ana Rius said 1,336 new cases were reported in the past week, for a total of 4,437 cases since the mosquito-borne virus was first detected in December.

CDC to open office in Laredo for Zika detection

(Laredo Morning Times) Congressman Henry Cuellar and the City of Laredo Health Department are set to announce Tuesday the creation of a new office for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Laredo.

Woman found to spread Zika through sex for 1st time

(Associated Press) A New York City woman infected her male partner with Zika virus through sex, the first time female-to-male transmission of the germ has been documented.


July 15, 2016

Health experts: Zika threat is serious – and getting bigger

(McClatchy News Service) Top health officials warned Wednesday that the Zika virus threatens much of the Western Hemisphere, with Florida, Puerto Rico and Brazil in the crosshairs. At a Senate hearing convened by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, three senior U.S. government experts urged Congress to pass a $1.1 billion Zika-prevention bill that has been stalled by partisan politics.

Lawmakers to go on recess without addressing Zika

(Associated Press) Congress is about to leave for a seven-week vacation without giving the Obama administration any of the $1.9 billion it's seeking to battle the Zika virus, and a Senate effort to revive the nuts-and-bolts process of passing agency budgets was dealt a significant setback at the hands of Democrats.

Zika Epidemic May Have Peaked But Will Threaten U.S. For Years

(NPR) Evidence came out Thursday that the Zika epidemic has peaked and started to subside. The virus has spread so quickly and infected so many people that it's actually burning itself out, the team writes in the journal Science. (Image: NPR)

Zika virus concerns continue with recent Texas diagnosis

(WFAA-TV) As of the end of June, 200 pregnant women in Dallas County have undergone specific testing, either blood exams or ultrasounds, because they were concerned about their exposure to the Zika virus.


July 14, 2016

Texas newborn's birth defect linked to Zika

(WOAI-TV) It has been confirmed that a baby recently born with microcephaly in Harris County is infected with the Zika virus. The mother was likely infected while in Latin America, and the baby acquired the infection in the womb. Neither baby nor mother are infectious, and there is no additional risk in Texas. This is the first Zika-related microcephaly case in Texas.

Lawmakers to go on vacation

(Associated Press) Congress is about to leave for a seven-week vacation without giving the Obama administration any of the $1.9 billion it's seeking to battle the Zika virus, and a Senate effort to revive the nuts-and-bolts process of passing agency budgets faces another setback at the hands of Democrats. (Image: Associated Press)

Virginia state lab to start testing mosquitoes for Zika

(Associated Press) Virginia officials say the state lab will begin testing mosquitoes for the Zika virus. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that the Department of General Services' Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services will start testing mosquitoes in certain areas to determine whether the Zika virus is present in parts of the state.

CDC: Olympics unlikely to spread Zika worldwide

(USA Today) The 2016 Olympics are highly unlikely to spread Zika worldwide, federal officials said, noting that the 500,000 people expected to travel to Brazil for the August games account for less than 1% of all international travel to Zika-affected areas. (Image: Getty)


July 13, 2016

Inaction on Zika funding likely to delay vaccine testing

(Associated Press) The Obama administration on Tuesday cautioned top lawmakers that continued gridlock over legislation to combat the Zika virus could delay research and development of a vaccine to protect against Zika and tests to detect it.

Un medicamento que funciona contra el dengue es eficaz en el virus del zika (A medication that controls dengue also is effective against Zika)

(El Dia) Un estudio experimental que ha comprobado la utilidad de la azitromicina contra el dengue y la fiebre amarilla ha mostrado que ese medicamento es eficaz contra el zika y que su uso podría resultar "prometedor para embarazadas", ha dicho el catedrático de Parasitología de la Universidad de Valencia, Santiago Mas-Coma. (An experimental study that has proven the usefulness of azithromycin against dengue and yellow fever has shown that the drug is effective against Zika and that its use could be “promising for pregnant women,” said Santiago Mas-Coma, Professor of Parasitology at the University of Valencia.)


July 12, 2016

Hay 786 casos de zika en México; 356, de mujeres embarazadas (786 cases of Zika reported in Mexico; 356 are pregnant women)

(El Dictamen) En México se han enfermado 786 personas por el virus del Zika en los últimos seis meses. Del total de casos, casi la mitad 356, corresponden a mujeres embarazadas, informó la Dirección General de Epidemiología de la Secretaría de Salud. (In Mexico, 786 people have been infected with the Zika virus in the last six months. Of the total cases, at least 356 are in pregnant women, reports the general director of epidemiology of the ministry of health.) (with image)

Austrian biotech plans Zika vaccine clinical trials in 12 months

(Reuters) An Austrian biotech company working with the Institut Pasteur said on Tuesday it planned to start clinical trials with an experimental Zika vaccine in the next 12 months, marking a further acceleration of research in the field.

US Health Experts Give Up on Zika Funding From Congress

(NBC News) Congress started its final week of the summer Monday but there was still no agreement on a legislation that would get the U.S. ready for a fight against the Zika virus, NBC News reported


July 11, 2016

1st death related to Zika virus seen in continental US

(Associated Press) A person infected with Zika has died in Utah, and while the exact cause is unclear, authorities said Friday it marks the first death related to the virus in the continental U.S. The unidentified Salt Lake County resident contracted the virus while traveling abroad to an area with a Zika outbreak, health officials said.

Top health officials fear Congress will leave without approving Zika funds

(USA Today) Top federal health officials fear Congress will leave town Friday without approving funds to combat Zika just as the summer mosquito season is peaking and money to fight the virus is about to run out. (Image: Associated Press)

Colombia Zika update: Women account for 2/3s of cases

(Outbreak News Today) In the latest update from the Colombian National Institute of Health, health officials reported an additional 1134 suspected Zika virus cases during the past week, with slightly more than half of the cases actually delayed from previous weeks.

Dustin Johnson to miss Rio Olympics due to Zika concerns

(USA Today) U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson is withdrawing from the Olympics because he is concerned about the Zika virus. Johnson becomes the 13th player to pull out of the field for the Rio Games, where golf makes its return after a 112-year absence.

UTRGV researchers take lead on Zika research

(Valley Star) The Rio Grande Valley is considered a likely port of entry for this mosquito-borne virus, and UTRGV researchers are leading efforts to better understand and combat the threat. (Image: McAllen Monitor)

Zika cases eclipse 1000 in the US, still no local transmission

(Outbreak News Today) The number of Zika virus cases reported in the United States increased by 198 during the past week, putting the total imported cases to 1132, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

El Salvador confirms second case of Zika-linked microcephaly

(Reuters) El Salvador confirmed on Friday a second case of a baby born with microcephaly linked to the Zika virus, the mosquito borne disease that can cause the serious birth defect and other severe fetal brain defects.


July 8, 2016

Texas health officials bracing for possible Zika flare-ups

(San Antonio Express-News) While Texas is certainly a primary target for the mosquito-borne Zika virus state health officials aren’t expecting a Brazil style outbreak, which has caused a rash of babies born with microcephaly in Latin America. Nonetheless, health officials said Wednesday they are bracing for possible localized flare-ups. (Image: Getty Images)

U.S. Democrats pressure Republicans for bipartisan Zika funding

(Reuters) The White House and congressional Democrats pressured Republicans on Thursday for bipartisan Zika-funding legislation, saying the public health battle against the mosquito-borne virus is being undercut by efforts to ram through a bill with less funding.

Zika confirmed in three more pregnant Houston women

(Houston Chronicle) Three more pregnant Houston women have contracted Zika, the mosquito-borne disease that can cause birth defects. All had recently traveled to countries affected by the virus.

France's Valneva says has generated possible Zika vaccine

(Reuters) French biotech firm Valneva said on Thursday it has produced a possible vaccine against the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

U.S. health agency monitoring 320 pregnant women with Zika

(CBC) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that it is monitoring 320 pregnant women in the U.S. with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection, up from 287 women a week earlier.

Haití reporta 2.600 casos de Zika en el primer semestre de 2016 (Haiti reports 2,600 cases of Zika in the first half of 2016)

(EFE) Haití ha registrado 2.600 casos de personas contagiadas con el virus del Zika, según anunció hoy el ministro de Salud de Haití, Daphnée Benoit Delsoin. (Haiti has recorded 2,600 cases of people infected with the Zika virus, according to an announcement by the secretary of the Haitian Health Ministry, Benoit Delsoin.) (Image: EFE)


July 7, 2016

US urges aerial spraying amid jump in Puerto Rico Zika cases

As many as 50 pregnant women in Puerto Rico are becoming infected with Zika every day, top U.S. health officials said Wednesday as they urged the U.S. territory to strongly consider aerial spraying to prevent further spread of the mosquito-borne virus. (Image: Associated Press)

U.S. Senate leader says will try again to pass Zika bill

(Reuters) The U.S. Senate will make another attempt to pass a bill dealing with the Zika virus during the current session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday.

One Zika twin has microcephaly; the other doesn't. But why?

(CNN) Lucas and Laura Silva de Oliveira are one of six sets of twins in Brazil whom researchers are studying to see why one has microcephaly and the other does not. The answer may lie in the babies' respective genes: One twin is able to resist the virus while the other is more susceptible to it. (Image: CNN)

Statewide Zika conference held in McAllen

(Brownsville Herald) Public health officials from across Texas converged in McAllen Wednesday to discuss all things Zika. Hidalgo County is at the forefront of this public health issue because it will likely be one of the regions first affected by the Zika virus as it slowly spreads from South America to North America.

Statewide Zika Summit Held in McAllen

(KRGV-TV) For the first time, health officials from around Texas met to discuss the Zika virus. The first State of Texas Active Response Conference on Zika was held at the McAllen Convention Center. (Image: KRGV)


July 6, 2016

US Army and France's Sanofi combine work on Zika vaccine

(Associated Press) Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi says it is joining efforts with U.S. Army researchers to speed up development of a potential Zika vaccine. France-based Sanofi SA said in a statement Wednesday that the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research will transfer its Zika vaccine technology to Sanofi Pasteur, the company's vaccine arm.

WHO urges use of polio detection systems to screen for Zika-linked disorder

(Reuters) A neurological condition linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus could be targeted globally with existing national programs for detecting polio, a paper co-authored by World Health Organization researchers said on Tuesday.

NIH funds study of Zika infections in US Olympic athletes

(Associated Press) Researchers will study some U.S. athletes for Zika during the summer Olympics and Paralympics in Brazil, to better understand how the virus infects.

Amid Zika fears, bug repellent supplier named for Rio Games

(Associated Press) Consumer products maker SC Johnson says its OFF! brand has been named the official insect repellent supplier for next month's Olympic Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro amid ongoing fears about the mosquito-borne Zika virus.


July 5, 2016

Blood banks could feel the squeeze from Zika advisories

(Kaiser Health News) As public health officials hustle to implement strategies like these to undermine the threat of the Zika virus, one such tactic could exacerbate a different health concern: maintaining the nation’s supply of donated blood.

Texas Hosts Zika Summit; CDC Sends $36 Million to Fight Virus

(NBC-DFW) In a continuing effort to delay local Zika transmission by mosquitoes, Texas is convening a statewide Zika summit of local leaders to create response plans and conduct drills. Meanwhile, the CDC is sending Texas more than $35 million in emergency preparedness funds to combat the spread of the virus. Texas' daylong workshop, formally called the State of Texas Active Response to Zika (STARZ) Conference, will be Wednesday, July 6, at the McAllen Convention Center.

Obama urges Congress to pass Zika prevention bill

(Associated Press) President Barack Obama says a vaccine for the Zika virus could be developed in "fairly short order" if Congress acts quickly to pass a bill to prevent the spread of the disease. Obama says researchers are beginning to develop and test a vaccine for the mosquito-borne virus. He says that if the effort is well funded he's "fairly confident" an effective vaccine could be developed before the virus spreads to the continental U.S.

From GM mosquitoes to condoms: the companies tackling Zika

(The Guardian) Businesses and institutions are mobilising to come up with solutions in the hope of not only providing some measure of protection against Zika, but also of making that protection financially viable. Those include vaccines, insect-repellent products and GM mosquitoes. (Image: Getty)

Benign Bacteria Block Mosquitoes From Transmitting Zika, Chikungunya Viruses

(Infection Control Today) Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have confirmed that a benign bacterium called Wolbachia pipientis can completely block transmission of Zika virus in Aedes aegypti, the mosquito species responsible for passing the virus to humans.

CDC Awards Funds for States and Territories to Prepare for Zika

(Infection Control Today) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $25 million in funding to states, cities, and territories to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika virus infection and associated adverse health outcomes, including microcephaly and the other serious birth defects.

Golfer Matsuyama to skip Olympics, cites Zika fears

(Reuters) Japan's Hideki Matsuyama has become the latest golfer to opt out of the Rio Games due to fears over the Zika virus in another setback to the sport as it makes its return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. (Image: USA Today)

UN health agency confirms 3 Zika cases in Guinea Bissau

(Associated Press) The U.N. health agency says it and national authorities are investigating whether three cases of the Zika virus discovered in Guinea Bissau are of the same strain as the one behind outbreaks linked to head and brain abnormalities in Brazil and elsewhere.

Alarmed over Zika, Texas official seeks nearly $30M for mosquito repellent for poor women

(Dallas Morning News) Texas' social services czar, trying to halt spread of the Zika virus, has urged state leaders to allow Medicaid and other programs to supply free or reduced-price mosquito repellent this summer to females of childbearing age.

Rihanna pulls out of festival due to Zika virus fears

(BBC) Rihanna has reportedly pulled out of a festival in South America over fears about the Zika virus. Organisers of Lollapalooza Colombia told ticket holders that a headline act had quit the show and they have now cancelled the event. (Image: BBC)


July 1, 2016

US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

(Voice of America) One day after Zika funding failed in the Senate, U.S. lawmakers heard a sobering assessment of the virus' potential to do harm and America's lack of preparedness to fight the mosquito that carries it. (Image: Voice of America)

Most Americans Want More Federal Money To Stop Zika: Poll

(Kaiser Health News) A large majority of Americans want the federal government to increase funding to prevent Zika’s spread in the U.S. and also help women at risk in affected areas get access to abortion, contraception and family planning services, according to a poll released Thursday.

This $2 portable test rapidly detects Zika in saliva

(Asia News International) With Zika buzz-bombing Brazil’s grandiose Summer Olympics plans, a team of researchers has come up with a new 2 dollar-test that rapidly detects Zika virus in saliva within 40 minutes.

Texas lawmakers keep pressing for Zika funding

(McClatchy News Service) Texas Republican lawmakers, concerned that their state is at the epicenter of a Zika virus health emergency, are hoping that when Congress returns after the Fourth of July break, members can work out a compromise for the stalled funding proposal for research and prevention of the dangerous virus. (Image: Associated Press)

More U.S. babies with Zika-related birth defects reported by health agency

(Reuters) Three more babies have been born in the United States with birth defects likely linked to Zika virus infections, while another lost pregnancy was linked to the virus, according to figures updated by health officials on Thursday.

Baylor College of Medicine to study Zika patients

(Associated Press) The Baylor College of Medicine will lead a study of patients infected with the Zika virus under a grant from the National Institutes of Health.


June 30, 2016

Zika infection being found in newborns without microcephaly

(CBC) The Zika virus can cause devastating brain defects in newborns with microcephaly, but also in babies with normal-sized heads and those born to women infected in the third trimester of pregnancy, Brazilian doctors say. In Wednesday's issue of the journal The Lancet, researchers said that of 602 babies born in Brazil with definite or probable Zika cases one in five had head circumferences in the normal range.

Zika sex research begins despite U.S. Congress funding impasse

(Reuters) It could take years to learn how long men infected with Zika are capable of sexually transmitting the virus, which can cause crippling birth defects and other serious neurological disorders. In the meantime, health officials have warned couples to refrain from unprotected sex for six months after a male partner is infected. The extraordinary recommendation, based on a single report of Zika surviving 62 days in semen, could affect millions. (Image: Reuters)

Zika virus a concern for poor urban areas along Gulf Coast

(Associated Press) Tropical disease specialists are most concerned about impoverished urban areas along the Gulf Coast, where the numbers of the mosquito that spreads Zika are expected to spike. Texas already has dealt with dengue fever, transmitted by the same mosquito. (Image: Associated Press)


June 29, 2016

Zika virus vaccine for animals brings hope for human protection

(The Guardian) An experimental vaccine that completely protects animals from the Zika virus has raised hopes for a jab that can bring the fast-spreading disease under control. Trials in the US found that a single immunisation shot made from a purified and inactivated form of the Zika virus gave mice total protection against the illness that has swept through Brazil and other parts of South America.

Zika Bill Is Blocked by Senate Democrats Upset Over Provisions

(New York Times) Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a federal spending bill that would have provided $1.1 billion to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus, saying Republicans had sabotaged the legislation with politically charged provisions. The move raised the possibility that no new money would be available soon to fight the disease as Southern states brace for a summer outbreak.

Number one golfer Day withdraws over Zika

(Reuters) World number one Jason Day became the latest top golfer to withdraw from August's Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games because of the Zika virus on Tuesday. Golf is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904, but a number of big names, including four-times major champion Rory McIlroy, Fiji's Vijay Singh and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, have also pulled out due to Zika concerns. (Photo: Reuters)

‘Nobody is Immune’ Bracing for Zika’s First Summer in the U.S.

(National Public Radio) The mosquito-borne Zika epidemic is headed for its first summer in the United States. New York Times reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that if the virus is ever going to hit hard in the U.S., 2016 will be the year.

First baby delivered in Florida with Zika-related microcephaly

(Tampa Bay Times) Doctors have delivered the first baby in Florida with Zika-related microcephaly, state health officials said Tuesday. The child's mother is a Haitian citizen who contracted the mosquito-borne virus while in her home country, the Department of Health said. She came to Florida to give birth.

Monkey Study Finds Zika Infection Lasts Longer in Pregnancy

(Associated Press) Researchers infected pregnant monkeys with the Zika virus to learn how it harms developing fetuses — and in a highly unusual twist, the public can get a real-time peek at the findings. Among the first surprising results: While most people harbor Zika in their bloodstream for only a week or so after infection, the virus lingered in one pregnant monkey's blood for 70 days and in another for 30 days.

 


June 28, 2016

Congressional dysfunction likely to stall Zika funding bill

(Associated Press) President Barack Obama's $1.9 billion emergency request to combat a potential public health crisis from the Zika virus is more than 4 months old, but congressional dysfunction appears likely to scuttle a scaled-back version of the president's request, raising the prospect that Congress may leave on a seven-week vacation next month without addressing Zika.

Texas 'ready as possible' for Zika, but funding would help

(Dallas Morning News) Federal health officials are evaluating a proposed Zika plan laid out this month by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, which asks for more than $10 million to help the state prepare for the potential impact of the virus.

Report ranks Zika hot spots, includes 4 Texas cities

(KVUE-TV) Austin, as well as four other Texas cities, make up the top 10 Zika zones in the United States, according to a report by Fit Organics.

Funding to fight Zika virus faces uphill battle in U.S. Senate

(Reuters) Funding to battle the Zika virus faces a struggle in the U.S. Senate this week, with Democrats scornful of a Republican proposal they say short-changes the challenge posed by the mosquito-borne virus as well as other health priorities.


June 27, 2016

List of Possible Zika Birth Defects Grows Longer

(Scientific American) The full scope of Zika-related birth defects may extend far beyond abnormally small heads and brain damage. Research to be presented next week at a teratology conference in San Antonio, Texas, suggests that serious joint problems, seizures, vision impairment, trouble feeding and persistent crying can be added to the list of risks from Zika exposure in the womb.

Jamaican sprinter reveals Zika infection but is competing

(Associated Press) Jamaican sprinter Kemar Bailey-Cole says he has been infected with the Zika virus but will participate in his country's Olympic trials next week. (Image: Associated Press)

Texas’ Zika Numbers Are Way Lower Than Florida’s – But Why?

(KUT-FM) Texas has roughly seven million more people than Florida. Based simply on probability, Texas would be expected to have more Zika cases – but it doesn’t. Right now, Texas has recorded 46 cases of the virus, while Florida has reported 183.


June 22, 2016

NIH begins large study of pregnant women in Zika-hit areas

(Associated Press) Researchers are beginning a study of up to 10,000 pregnant women in Puerto Rico, Brazil and other Zika-hit parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, to better understand the virus' threat. The U.S. National Institutes of Health announced the study Tuesday, saying researchers will enroll participants starting in the first trimester and compare the birth outcomes of those who become infected with Zika and those who don't.

Baylor Biologist Shares Update on Zika Tracking Efforts, Prevention Tips

(Baylor News Communications) The nation is on high alert for the Zika virus – and rightfully so, said  Richard Duhrkopf, Ph.D., associate professor of biology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences and nationally recognized expert on mosquitoes. (Image: Baylor University)

Microsoft is testing a new mosquito trap to fight Zika

(CNN Money) On the Gulf Coast of Texas, a new player is working to fight mosquitoes carrying Zika and other diseases. It's not a usual suspect from the world of health care, but Microsoft, a company best known for computer software and video games.

McIlroy opts out of Rio Olympics over Zika concerns

(Associated Press) Golfer Rory McIlroy became one of the most high-profile sports stars to opt out of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics because of concerns about the Zika virus, saying Wednesday it is "a risk I am unwilling to take." (Image: Associated Press) 


June 21, 2016

Experimental Zika vaccine to begin human testing

(Associated Press) An experimental vaccine for the Zika virus is due to begin human testing in coming weeks, after getting the green light from U.S. health officials. Inovio Pharmaceuticals said Monday it received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to begin early-stage safety tests of its DNA-based vaccine against the mosquito-borne virus.

U.S. to help fund technology to eliminate Zika in blood supply

(Reuters) The U.S. government said on Monday it has agreed to help fund two pathogen reduction technologies to help reduce the risk of Zika virus and other infections from being transmitted through the blood supply. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said the funding will flow through its Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) unit, which will provide initial funding of $30.8 million to Cerus Corp and $17.5 million to the U.S. division of Japan's Terumo Corp.

Experts only beginning to grasp the damage from Zika virus

(Associated Press) Even though the explosive spread of the Zika virus has been met with a new level of international response, thanks to lessons learned from the Ebola crisis, experts warn they are only beginning to grasp the damage the mosquito-borne virus can do.


June 20, 2016

As Zika Spreads in Puerto Rico, These 10 U.S. Cities Could Be Next

(Seattle PI) Those who believe that Americans are far-removed from the threat of Zika are in for a wake-up call. Puerto Rican blood banks have seen a steady rise in the number of Zika-infected blood units collected — a clear sign of how quickly the disease is spreading in the area, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden told reporters Friday. (Image: Seattle PI)

FDA Grants Emergency Use Authorization for Hologic's Aptima® Zika Virus Assay

(PRNewswire) Hologic Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization for the company's new, diagnostic assay for Zika virus infection. The Aptima® Zika Virus assay is a molecular diagnostic tool for the qualitative detection of RNA from Zika virus in human serum and plasma specimens.

Number of Zika-Positive Puerto Ricans Surprises Health Officials

(New York Times) Roughly 1 percent of recent blood donors in Puerto Rico showed signs of active infection with the Zika virus, suggesting that a substantial portion of the island’s population will become infected, federal health officials reported on Friday. From April 3 to June 11, testing of 12,700 donations at blood centers in Puerto Rico identified 68 infected donors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Image: EFE)

Texas Expert: Zika Shouldn't be Worry at Rio Olympics

(WOAI-AM) The Zika virus is raging in Central American, and there's a growing call to cancel the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but one of the leading experts on tropical diseases says there is nothing to worry about.

Roche announces availability of LightMix modular Zika Virus Assay

(Reuters) Swiss drugmaker Roche said on Monday its LightMix Modular Zika Virus Assay (CE) is available in markets accepting the CE mark for patients with signs and symptoms of the Zika infection where the virus is known to be present. (Image: Reuters)

Brazilian Scientists Head to San Antonio, Set to Unveil New Zika Research

(PR Web) "Brazil is in shock,” according to Lavinia Schuler-Faccini, PhD, a Brazilian scientist on the front-lines of the Zika virus outbreak in South America where there are more than 1,000 confirmed cases of babies with microcephaly caused by their mothers contracting the virus during pregnancy. It’s a sentiment shared by researchers from around the world who are coming together to present the latest findings surrounding the mosquito and sexually-transmitted virus and its link to severe birth defects on June 29 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio.


June 17, 2016

CDC: 3 babies with Zika-linked birth defects born in US

(Associated Press) Three babies with Zika-linked birth defects have been born in the U.S., the government reported Thursday in its first accounting of outcomes for pregnant women infected with the virus. The defects were also seen in three other pregnancies that ended. (Image: Associated Press)

Zika 101: Travis County to conduct a two-day survey on the mosquito-borne virus

(Austin Chronicle) This weekend, public health officials from the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department and Williamson County will launch simultaneous public health surveys to better understand the public's knowledge about the Zika virus and mosquito prevention.

Zika can cause microcephaly even if moms have no symptoms, report says

(Washington Post) Pregnant women who become infected with the Zika virus are at risk of having babies with the severe birth defect known as microcephaly, regardless of whether they have symptoms of the disease, according to a new report.

Zika's potential threat to world blood supply deserves study - and action

(Medical News Today) Blood safety researchers say it is highly likely that the mosquito-borne Zika virus can be transmitted through blood transfusions and are calling for an evidence-based approach to protecting the blood supply from the threat of Zika virus according to a commentary in the journal Transfusion.


June 16, 2016

Republican negotiators promise quick end to Zika talks

(Associated Press) Republicans in control of negotiations on long-delayed funding to combat the Zika virus are promising a quick agreement, as behind-the-scenes negotiations have focused on a potential deal in the range of a $1.1 billion measure passed by the Senate last month.

Zika's potential threat to world blood supply deserves study and action

(Science Daily) Blood safety researchers say it is highly likely that the mosquito-borne Zika virus can be transmitted through blood transfusions and are calling for an evidence-based approach to protecting the blood supply from the threat of Zika virus according to a commentary in the journal Transfusion.

Zika infections late in pregnancy led to no defects in study

(Associated Press) Women infected with the Zika virus late in their pregnancies had babies with no apparent birth defects, according to a study in Colombia that seems to confirm that the greatest risk to infants comes early in pregnancy. (Photo: Associated Press)

Gov. Greg Abbott Asks Feds For Zika Funding, Guidance

(Texas Tribune) As Texas braces for a possible Zika virus outbreak among local mosquito populations, Gov. Greg Abbott asked federal health officials Wednesday to review the state’s plan to combat the disease linked to serious birth defects.


June 15, 2016

US plan for Zika includes special CDC teams to help states

(Associated Press) Health officials have put together a plan to combat Zika that includes a special team of experts that can be dispatched to states if the virus spreads in the U.S. (Photo: Associated Press)

El Salvador says confirms first case of microcephaly linked to Zika

(Reuters) El Salvador confirmed on Tuesday its first case of microcephaly in a baby linked to the Zika virus, the health ministry said.

UN: Risk that Rio Olympics will spread Zika is 'very low'

(Associated Press) There is "a very low risk" that the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics will accelerate the spread of the Zika virus around the globe, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

AMA Urges Congress to Provide Immediate Funding to Help Combat Zika Virus

(Marketwired) Amidst growing concerns about the nation's ability to respond to the Zika virus, the American Medical Association (AMA) today adopted policy during its Annual meeting urging Congress to act swiftly to provide sufficient funding to combat the virus.


June 14, 2016

Zika, cancer focus of new U.S., Cuba accord on public health

(McClatchy News Service) Cuba and the United States signed a public health agreement Monday promising to work together in the fight against Zika and cancer. Cuban Health Minister Roberto Tomas Morales Ojeda signed the agreement at the start of a three-day visit to the United States.

Gaps In Women’s Health Care May Derail Zika Prevention In Texas, Florida

(Kaiser Health News) Mosquitoes bearing Zika — a virus that can cause birth defects when contracted by pregnant women — are expected to reach the United States as soon as this summer, with Florida and Texas likely to be among the hardest-hit states. But in both, support for women’s health care, along with family planning resources, has been dramatically scaled back, in part because of funding restrictions placed on women’s clinics that, in addition to other services, provide abortions. (Photo: Kaiser Health News)

Brasil registró más de 40.000 casos de zika confirmados en doce meses (Brazil records more than 40,000 confirmed cases of Zika in 12 months)

(EFE) Brasil registró en un año 127.822 casos de virus Zika, de los que 43.227 ya fueron confirmados por las autoridades sanitarias, según un boletín epidemiológico divulgado hoy por el Ministerio de Salud. (Brazil recorded 127,822 cases of Zika virus in the last year, of which 43,227 were confirmed by health authorities, according to an epidemiological bulletin released today by the Ministry of Health.)


June 13, 2016

Houston Mayor Asks For State Funding To Fight Mosquitoes That Can Carry Zika Virus

(Houston Public Media) Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner wants Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to declare the Zika virus a public health emergency. That measure would help Turner make his case for asking the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to provide funds for waste disposal.

Official map finds Zika-transmitting mosquitoes in much of U.S.

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) Mosquitoes that can transmit the Zika virus have been found to live in nearly all U.S. states, according to maps released this week by authorities trying to assess the public health threat. (Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Senators: Bill will give states, cities tools to fight Zika

(Associated Press) U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is one of several senators who have introduced a bill they say will give states and municipalities tools to fight the Zika virus. Democrat Bill Nelson of Florida and Angus King of Maine, an independent, submitted the bill with Burr.

Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Teams With Private Sector To Fight Zika

(FOX Business) The World Health Organization warned people living in Zika-affected countries to delay plans to get pregnant due to the virus’ potential impact on babies. “I think it’s a good warning and I very much respect that the WHO came out that way,” Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellman told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. 


June 10, 2016

CDC director: Funding delay hurts fight against Zika

(Associated Press) -- Epidemics can spread in days and weeks and the sooner that Congress acts on Zika funding the better, a top U.S health official said on Thursday. "We really need to make sure that Congress acts quickly," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said. (Photo: Associated Press)

WHO says delaying pregnancy option for women in Zika areas

(Associated Press) The World Health Organization says women who live in areas where Zika is spreading should consider delaying pregnancy, since there's no other sure way to avoid the virus' devastating birth defects.

Mexican Health Officials Working to Stop Spread of Zika

(KRGV-TV) Mexico, a country with homegrown cases of Zika, is making sure the virus doesn’t spread. Instructional videos on how to stay protected constantly play in the waiting rooms of the Reynosa Health Department this year. (Photo: KRGV)

Pittsburgh researcher infected with Zika in lab accident

(Associated Press) The University of Pittsburgh says one of its researchers became infected with the Zika virus in a lab accident. The scientist accidentally stuck herself with a needle last month during a Zika experiment. She developed Zika symptoms last week and lab tests confirmed the infection.

Texas Children’s Hospital blog: Zika 101

(Texas Children’s Hospital) With all of the coverage in the news about the Zika virus lately, it is understandable that parents have questions. Here are the facts you need to know about this virus. (Photo: Texas Children’s Hospital)


June 8, 2016

Zika-free warmups suggest minimal risk at Olympics, organizers say

(Reuters) The local organising committee for the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro said on Tuesday not a single case of Zika infection has been reported among 17,000 athletes, volunteers and staff during test events in the run-up to the games.

Central Texas blood supply could be impacted by Zika virus spread

(Austin Community Impact) The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas and pest-control company ABC Home and Commercial Services announced the Bite Back! campaign to prevent mosquito-borne cases of the Zika virus in the area and inform residents of the potential effect the spread of the virus may have on the local blood supply. (Photo: Austin Community Impact)

Mosquito threats in Central Texas

(Austin Community Impact) Species information, virus prevention and symptoms.


June 7, 2016

Texas Republicans Ask Obama, Congress for Zika Help

(Texas Tribune) Texas' top Senate Republicans on Monday upped the urgency on federal policymakers to do something about the Zika virus.

Brazil sports minister plays down Zika fears for Rio

(Reuters) Brazil's Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani expects there to be almost no cases of the Zika virus during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, adding that the country is prepared for the Games, despite health concerns and political instability. (Photo: Reuters)

Cure for Zika could be made available soon

(CBS Atlanta) As scientists around the world race to find a vaccine for the Zika virus, a biopharmaceutical company based in metro Atlanta claims to have found a cure.

New research finds low risk of Zika virus at Olympics

(Reuters) New research attempting to calculate the risk of the Zika virus at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro may reassure organizers and many of the more than 500,000 athletes and fans expected to travel to the epicenter of the epidemic.

WHO expert panel on Zika to meet next week, review Olympics guidance

(Reuters) The World Health Organization's Emergency Committee on Zika will meet early next week to consider new evidence and review its recommendations, including regarding the Rio Olympics, a WHO spokesman said on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)

LabCorp Announces the Availability of the RealStar® Zika Virus Test

(Businesswire Live) Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings today announced the nationwide availability of testing for Zika virus using the RealStar Zika Virus RT-PCR Kit U.S. from altona Diagnostics GmbH. The test has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the qualitative detection of Zika virus RNA in serum or urine (collected alongside a patient-matched serum specimen).


June 6, 2016

UN asking expert panel to assess Zika risk at Rio Olympics

(Associated Press) The World Health Organization's chief says she will convene an expert committee to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics should proceed as planned, following concerns raised about the threat of the Zika virus.

Zika virus directly infects brain cells and evades immune system detection: Study

(Outbreak News Today) The mosquito-borne Zika virus linked to microcephaly and other neurological problems in newborns of affected mothers directly infects the brain progenitor cells destined to become neurons, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report in a study published online Friday in Cell Reports.

WHO to weigh Rio Olympics impact on Zika spread

(AFP) The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has asked a panel of experts to consider whether the Rio Summer Olympics should be held as scheduled due to concerns it could spread the Zika virus. (Photo: Reuters)

DOD: 11 troops infected with Zika virus this year

(USA Today) At least 11 U.S. troops have been infected with the Zika virus since January, nearly all of whom traveled to countries where the mosquito-borne illness is prevalent, the Pentagon disclosed in a health report published Friday.

(Science Daily) Eight weeks after receiving their first samples of Zika virus, scientists have shown that a very small protein we all have in our bodies, interferon-induced protein 3 (IFITM3), can dramatically reduce the ability of Zika virus to infect human and mouse cells. (Photo: Brass Lab)


June 3, 2016

US cyclist withdraws from Rio consideration citing Zika

(Associated Press) American cyclist Tejay van Garderen understands the chances that he might contract the Zika virus at the Rio Olympics are minimal, and that precautions could be taken to further reduce the threat. With a pregnant wife at home, not even the smallest risk was worth it. Van Garderen withdrew his name from consideration for the road cycling team Thursday. (Image: Associated Press)

Zika May Be Transmitted by Oral Sex, Scientists Find

(New York Times) Scientists raised the possibility that the Zika virus can be transmitted by oral sex — perhaps even by kissing — on Friday in a letter to The New England Journal of Medicine describing one such case in France.

The Discoverer Of The Zika Virus Left 15 Boxes Of Treasures

(BBC) Back in 1947, Alexander John Haddow made a discovery that didn't seem particularly important. He was part of a team doing research on yellow fever in Uganda, and he identified a new virus that was making a monkey in his lab sick. He named the virus Zika, after the Zika forest where his lab was located. (Image: BBC)


June 2, 2016

Florida: Disaster coming without help on Zika fight

(Associated Press) Florida will experience a "disaster" with the Zika virus if federal authorities don't immediately provide money to help battle the virus, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday.

Zika Virus Outbreak: Top Questions for CDC Chief From ABC News' Facebook Live Q&A

(ABC News Radio) ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser conducted a live Q&A Wednesday with Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to get the latest guidance and updates on the Zika virus. (Image: ABC News Radio)


June 1, 2016

Doctor: Baby born in US to mom with Zika has birth defect

(Associated Press) A baby born to a mother with the Zika virus at a New Jersey hospital appears to be affected by the disease, according to a doctor who helped lead the delivery team. The 31-year-old mother was diagnosed with Zika in her native Honduras after lab results were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation of the virus.

Most Americans Aware of Zika Threat, But Gaps in Knowledge Remain

(HealthDay News) Americans are becoming more informed about the Zika virus, but there are still some large gaps in their knowledge of the mosquito-borne illness that can cause devastating birth defects, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll finds.

Tigers closer Rodriguez says he contracted Zika virus

(Associated Press) Detroit Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez says he contracted the Zika virus over the offseason in his home country of Venezuela and advises potential Olympic athletes to educate themselves on the virus before heading to Rio de Janeiro. (Image: Associated Press)

Japanese scientists develop new tool to predict spread of Zika virus

(Press Trust of India) Japanese scientists have developed a new tool that can predict the risk of Zika virus importation and local transmission around the world.


May 31, 2016

Delaying Rio Games would give 'false security' on Zika: WHO panel head

(Reuters) Postponing the Rio Olympics due to fears that the event could speed the spread of the Zika virus would give a "false" sense of security because travelers are constantly going in and out of Brazil, the head of the World Health Organization's emergency committee said. (Photo: Reuters)

WHO says Zika response plan only 13 percent funded

(AFP) The World Health Organization’s Zika response programme is only 13 percent funded, “severely” compromising efforts to combat the virus that is increasingly becoming a global threat, the UN agency said Monday. (Photo: AFP)

UN: Sex transmission of Zika more common than first thought

(Associated Press) The U.N. health agency says sexual transmission of Zika is more common than first thought. It is updating its advice to women who have been in areas hit by the virus, telling them to wait even longer to conceive.

WHO advises eight weeks of safe sex after return from Zika areas

(Reuters) People returning from areas where the Zika virus is found should follow safe sex practices or abstain from sex for at least eight weeks rather than just four, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.


May 27, 2016

CDC urges speed on Zika as House moves to negotiate funding

(Associated Press) The U.S. must act more quickly to protect pregnant women from birth defect-causing Zika, a top health official said Thursday even as the House left town for its Memorial Day recess with no visible progress toward a congressional compromise on emergency funding to battle the virus.

Zika virus: 10 things learned according to CDC’s Frieden

(Outbreak News Today) On Thursday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director, Dr Thomas Frieden addressed the National Press Club on Zika virus and the response efforts being taken. During his talk, Frieden, who called Zika “unprecedented and tragic”, listed 10 things that have been learned in the past five months. (Image: Associated Press)

U.S. health official says Zika not a reason to cancel Olympics

(Reuters) The widespread Zika virus outbreak in Brazil does not pose enough of a threat to warrant canceling or putting off the Olympic Games set to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August, a leading U.S. health official said on Thursday.

Some experts question extent of Zika threat to U.S.

(HealthDay News) Some leading insect and infectious-diseases experts think so, arguing that the mosquito-borne virus is unlikely to become a widespread hazard to pregnant women throughout the United States.

How to control Zika if outbreak occurs in Houston

(KTRK) Residents are hoping to clean up abandoned tired amidst worries about the potential threat of the Zika virus. (Image" KTRK)

May 26, 2016

CDC: 1% to 13% of Zika-infected babies could have microcephaly

(USA Today) A fetus infected with the Zika virus during the first three months of pregnancy has about a 1% to 13% risk of developing microcephaly, an abnormally small head usually caused by incomplete brain development, according to new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Zika funding mired in Congress

(USA Today) Congress is still struggling to reach an agreement to provide emergency funding to battle the Zika virus, and lawmakers are worried the fight could last for weeks, despite increasingly urgent warnings from federal health officials about the need to move quickly to prevent a U.S. outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus. (Image: Credit USA Today motion graphic)

Texas warning people about Zika virus threat

(FOX4 News) Infected mosquitos carrying Zika are expected to enter the United States in June or July. That has the Texas Department of State Health Services warning people. Dr. John Hellerstedt, the state's health services commissioner, joins Good Day to talk about the risks. (Image from live TV feed. Credit: FOX4 News)

Company calls on FDA to issue permit for genetically modified mosquitoes

(USA Today) A company with a swarm of genetically modified mosquitoes wants the Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency approval for the controversial insects' use in the fight against the Zika virus.

PositiveID Successfully Detects the Zika Virus on its Firefly Dx Prototype System

(NASDAQ) PositiveID Corp., a life sciences company focused on detection and diagnostics, announced today that it has successfully detected the Zika virus on its Firefly Dx polymerase chain reaction breadboard prototype pathogen detection system.

How U.S. officials plan to protect Olympic athletes from Zika

(Washington Post) U.S. officials are starting a massive effort to protect American athletes from Zika, even as they are learning more about the mysterious disease in real time. Some members of the U.S. Summer Olympics delegation are already being monitored for the virus as they begin to go to Brazil, the epicenter of the rapidly evolving outbreak.

(Photo: U.S. women’s soccer goalie Hope Solo said she'll attend the Summer Games “begrudgingly,” citing concerns over Zika. Credit: Getty Images)


May 25, 2016

Zika Virus May Be Linked to More Eye Problems in Brazilian Babies with Microcephaly

(PR Newswire) Researchers studying babies with a Zika virus-related birth defect say they have found previously unreported eye problems possibly linked to the virus that could result in severe visual impairment. In three Brazilian infants with microcephaly, the researchers observed retinal lesions, hemorrhaging and abnormal blood vessel development not noted before in relation to the virus.

Yale tool suggests proposed Zika funding would be cost-effective

(Outbreak News Today) A study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases presents a cost-effectiveness tool that can help guide decisions regarding resource allocation to fund interventions targeted at curtailing the ongoing Zika virus outbreak. Analyses using the tool suggest that proposed funds to combat Zika in the US and other countries would be cost-effective, based on quantification of the serious health conditions associated with Zika infection.

House passes narrow Zika measure designed to remove red tape

(CNN) The House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday that makes it easier for state and local governments to spray pesticides to kill mosquitoes and stop the spread of the Zika virus.


May 24, 2016

Zika outbreak fuelled by mosquito control failure, says WHO boss

(BBC) The spread of Zika is the price being paid for a massive policy failure on mosquito control, says World Health Organization leader Margaret Chan.

(Photo: Dr. Margaret Chan speaks at the World Health Assembly. Credit: BBC)

Biotron compounds kill Zika virus in tests

(Australian Associated Press) Biotech Biotron says two of its compounds have shown effectiveness against the Zika virus but a drug therapy could be a long way off. Biotron, which develops compounds to fight significant viral diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C, said on Monday that two compounds from its library killed the Zika virus in "test tube" tests in the United States.

Brazil confirms mosquito as Zika vector

(AFP) Brazilian scientists said Monday they have found the first hard evidence the Zika virus blamed for causing brain damage in hundreds of babies is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Concern in Haiti over emerging condition linked to Zika

(Associated Press) Doctors and scientists are bracing for the possibility of a wave of rare disorders triggered by Zika in an impoverished country that has faced one public health crisis after another and is fertile ground for mosquito-borne scourges.

New models show costs from Zika will easily exceed proposed federal funding

(Baltimore Sun) The cost of medical care and lost productivity from Zika infections in six states in the South could exceed $2 billion, and that’s if only 2 percent of the region’s population becomes infected, according to economic modeling done recently at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Senate-USOC exchange concerns, plans about Zika virus in Rio

(Associated Press) A group of Democratic senators is concerned about how the Zika virus might affect American athletes at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was one of 11 senators to sign a letter sent Monday to the U.S. Olympic Committee asking what steps it is taking to protect athletes against the spread of the mosquito-borne virus.

(Photo: Sen. Barbara Boxer)


May 23, 2016

Trying to get jump on Zika preparations with money in limbo

(Associated Press) Beg, borrow and steal: Zika preparation involves a bit of all three as federal, state and local health officials try to get a jump on the mosquito-borne virus while Congress haggles over how much money they really need.

U.S. states on Zika's frontline see big gaps in funding, expertise

(Reuters) Because they are funded by local taxpayer dollars, U.S. mosquito control programs reflect deep economic disparities between communities, leaving some at-risk locations badly unprepared for the virus that is spreading through the Americas.

(Photo: State employees go door-to-door looking for breeding places for mosquitoes. Reuters)

Puerto Rico says confirmed Zika cases top 1,100

(Associated Press) Puerto Rico has recorded more than 1,100 confirmed cases of Zika since the mosquito-borne virus was first detected in the U.S. territory six months ago.

Brazil-type Zika confirmed in Africa for first time: WHO

(Reuters) Tests show an outbreak of Zika virus on the African island chain of Cape Verde is of the same strain as the one blamed for birth abnormalities in Brazil, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

(Photo: A researcher in Uganda carries insect traps in the Zika forest in Uganda. Reuters)

Pregnant women in US with Zika spikes on new counting method

The number of pregnant women in the United States infected with Zika virus is suddenly tripling, due to a change in how the government is reporting cases. Previously, officials had reported how many pregnant women had both Zika symptoms and positive blood tests. In a change announced Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's count will include all women who tested positive, regardless of symptoms.


May 20, 2016

Congress, White House strike rescue deal for Puerto Rico

(Associated Press) House Republicans and Democrats reached a rare, election-year deal with the White House to try to rescue Puerto Rico from $70 billion in debt as millions of Americans in the cash-strapped U.S. territory struggle with the loss of basic services.

Zika Leads USA Swimming To Dump Puerto Rico

(Associated Press) USA Swimming has moved a pre-Olympic training camp out of Puerto Rico because of the Zika virus.


May 19, 2016

Tricky talks ahead on measures to battle Zika

(Associated Press) Republicans controlling both the House and the Senate are facing tricky negotiations with each other and the White House over how to handle the public health threat posed by the Zika virus.

House GOP presses ahead with Zika measure

(Associated Press) House Republicans on Wednesday pushed through a $622 million bill to battle the Zika virus, setting up challenging negotiations with the Senate and the White House.

CDC director Freiden warns GOP Zika bill is inadequate

(Associated Press) The House moved toward a Wednesday night vote on a $622 million GOP measure to combat the Zika virus, despite a White House veto threat and a warning from the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it wouldn't do enough to respond to the swelling threat to public health.

Muere segunda persona en Honduras por síndrome Guillain-Barré relacionado con zika (A second person in Honduras has died from Guillain-Barre syndrome traced to Zika)

(EFE) Una segunda persona murió hoy en Honduras a causa del síndrome Guillain-Barré, relacionado con el virus del zika, informó el vocero del estatal Hospital Escuela de Tegucigalpa, Miguel Osorio. (A second person died today in Honduras because of Guillain-Barre syndrome, related to a zika virus infection, said Miguel Osorio , a spokesman State Hospital School of Tegucigalpa.)

UN health agency foresees low to moderate risk of Zika virus spread in Europe

(Bloomberg) The overall risk of a Zika virus outbreak across Europe is low to moderate during late spring and summer, according to a new risk assessment published today by the World Health Organization (WHO), with a varying risk across the region that is higher in countries where Aedes mosquitoes are present.


May 18, 2016

Health officials say local spread of Zika 'likely' in Texas

(Associated Press) Texas has identified 33 cases of the Zika virus that all have been associated with overseas travel, but the virus is expected to begin spreading locally within the state during the sweaty upcoming summer months, top health officials said Tuesday.

House to vote on scaled-back Zika bill despite veto threat

(Associated Press) Republicans controlling the House are ignoring protests from Democrats and a White House veto threat as they speed legislation funding the battle against the Zika virus to a vote.

Senate advances compromise bill to provide $1.1 billion to combat Zika

(USA Today) With the summer mosquito-season fast approaching, the Senate voted Tuesday to advance a bipartisan compromise that would provide $1.1 billion to help public health officials battle the Zika virus as it begins to threaten the continental United States.

CDC cut $44 million in local health funding to pay for Zika response

(USA Today) Short on funding to combat a potential Zika outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control shifted $44 million from its fund for local health departments to Zika, a move that public health officials say weakness their ability to plan for and respond to other emergencies.

Army labs get more funding for Zika research

(DOD News) The Defense Department is providing $1.76 million in extra funding to military laboratories to expand Zika virus surveillance worldwide and assess the virus's impact on deployed service members' health and readiness, Navy Cmdr. Franca Jones said in a recent interview.


May 17, 2016

Congress to vote on Zika funding; bills fall far short of Obama's request

(USA Today) After more than three months of fighting between the White House and Congress over emergency funding to combat the Zika virus, the Senate appears poised Tuesday to approve $1.1 billion for prevention and treatment programs to combat the mosquito-borne illness. But the Senate compromise, which falls short of the $1.9 billion the White House is seeking, could be quickly derailed in the House. Republican House leaders introduced legislation Monday that would provide $622 million to combat Zika.

(Associated Press) The World Health Organization's chief says the agency is increasingly concerned about the Zika virus, even though it does not recommend canceling or postponing the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics in hard-hit Brazil.

UTMB scientists genetically engineer first Zika virus clone

(Galveston Daily News) A team from The University of Texas Medical Branch is the first in the world to genetically engineer a clone of the Zika virus strain, a development that could expedite many aspects of Zika research, including vaccine and therapeutics development, the medical branch said Monday.


May 16, 2016

U.S. CDC announces funds to fight Zika locally

(Reuters) The U.S. health department has made available more than $85 million to fight Zika infection in the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday. U.S. states and territories can now apply to the CDC for funds to combat Zika, which has been linked to birth defect microcephaly and other severe brain abnormalities, at a local level.

Puerto Rico reports first case of Zika-related microcephaly

(Reuters) Puerto Rico's health ministry confirmed on Friday its first case of Zika-related microcephaly in a fetus, increasing concerns of the virus' spread by mosquitoes and the financially strapped U.S. commonwealth's ability to address the growing health crisis.

Embarazadas de P.Rico esperan hasta 2 meses para saber resultado pruebas zika (Pregnant women in Puerto Rico waiting two months for Zika tests)

(EFE) Las embarazadas de Puerto Rico están esperando entre uno y dos meses para conocer los resultados de las pruebas que se les practican para saber si tienen zika, un plazo que tanto ellas como sus ginecólogos ven excesivo ya que muchas se plantean abortar si contraen el virus. (Pregnant women in Puerto Rico are waiting between one and two months for results of Zika tests, which they and their gynecologists say are excessive.)

IBM Designs Macromolecule 'Like Honey' To Prevent Viral Infections, Like Zika And Ebola, From Spreading

(Medical Daily) The Zika virus, Ebola, and dengue fever often elude vaccines with their shape-shifting abilities. Strains of these viral infections rapidly mutate, so they're not only resistant to treatment but also difficult to prevent from spreading in the first place. But team of researchers from IBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore may have figured out how to finally make some headway toward finding a cure.

Citizen-scientists: Uncle Sam wants you to fight Zika!

(Associated Press) The mosquitoes that can spread Zika are already buzzing among us. The U.S. government could use some help figuring out exactly where. No experience is necessary for what the U.S. Department of Agriculture envisions as a nationwide experiment in citizen-science.

Qld scientists aim for Zika breakthrough

(Australian Associated Press) Three Queensland scientists are part of an international collaboration aiming to develop a test for the Zika virus that provides results in as little as 15 minutes.


May 13, 2016

Senate deal reached on reduced Zika funding measure

(Associated Press) Top Senate negotiators announced agreement Thursday on a $1.1 billion emergency funding measure to battle the Zika virus. That's less than President Barack Obama's $1.9 billion request, which has upset some senior Democrats.

WHO to Rio Olympic visitors: Don't go to poor parts of city

(Associated Press) Athletes and visitors heading to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics should avoid poor and overcrowded parts of the city to minimize their chances of catching the Zika virus, The World Health Organization said Thursday.


May 12, 2016

Brazil says Zika-linked microcephaly cases fall to 4,759

(Reuters) The number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil associated with the Zika virus was down to 4,759 in the week through May 7, the Health Ministry said Wednesday, hundreds less than more than 5,200 suspected in late March.

Canadian professor says Olympics should be postponed or moved due to Zika virus

(Associated Press) With the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro less than three months away, a Canadian professor has called for the Olympics to be postponed or moved because of the Zika outbreak, warning the influx of visitors to Brazil will result in the avoidable birth of malformed babies.

Mice experiments show how Zika invades placenta, fetus

(AFP) Experiments using lab mice show how the Zika virus travels through the bloodstream, multiplies in the placenta and invades the brain of the developing fetus, stunting growth or causing death, researchers said Wednesday.

Senate negotiators zero in on Zika virus funding

(Reuters) U.S. Senate negotiators on Wednesday tried to reach a deal to provide more than $1 billion to battle the Zika virus that is feared will creep north into the United States with the onset of warmer weather, which breeds mosquitoes that could carry the disease.


May 11, 2016

Urine test could simplify Zika virus detection

(Associated Press) A urine-based test for Zika virus infection has shown to be more effective than the common blood-based one for many patients, a development that could make testing for the infection easier.

México trabaja en investigación para controlar el vector del zika (Mexico investigating ways to control Zika vectors)

(Excelsior) Las universidades Autónoma de Yucatán y de Michigan, Estados Unidos, concretaron un convenio para hacer estudios experimentales en México tendientes al control del vector del zika, informó Pablo Kuri Morales, subsecretario de Prevención de la Salud. (The Autonomous University of Yucatan and the University of have finalized an agreement to conduct experimental studies in Mexico aimed at controlling the vectors that carry Zika, said Pablo Kuri Morales, Undersecretary of Health Prevention.)

Florida governor seeks federal funds to fight Zika virus

Florida Gov. Rick Scott heads to Washington Wednesday where he intends to get Congress to focus on Zika. Florida leads the nation in the number of Zika infections and that is making Scott an unlikely ally of President Obama's request for $1.9 billion to fight the mosquito-borne virus.

Zika virus leads to scarcity in blood supply

(Indianapolis Star) The toll of the Zika virus now reaches beyond the people infected with it. Donations to some blood centers have declined precipitously after the federal government’s recommendation that those who travel to where the virus is active hold off on giving blood for a month after returning.

US Phytotherapy Successfully Tests A Viable Treatment For Zika Virus

(PR Newswire) US Phytotherapy Inc. ("USPI") today announces that it has completed crucial research in confirming efficacy of its drug candidate, PROACT-Z, for zika virus inhibition in the recently completed preliminary cell culture studies.


May 10, 2016

Honduras suspects first case of microcephaly in pregnant Zika patient

(Reuters) The Central American nation of Honduras "strongly suspects" it has detected its first case of an unborn child with microcephaly in a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus, the country's deputy health minister Francis Contreras said on Monday.

Mosquito Hunters Set Traps Across Harris County, Searching for Signs of Zika

(Houston Public Radio) Local health officials are preparing for the possibility that the Zika virus could soon find its way into mosquito populations along the Gulf Coast. Harris County operates one of the largest mosquito control operations in the U.S., with a permanent staff of more than 50 scientists and technicians.

Pregnant Connecticut teen shocked to learn she has Zika

(Associated Press) A Connecticut teenager says she was shocked she tested positive for the Zika virus after learning she was pregnant. Sara Mujica, 17, of Danbury, said she found out she was pregnant in March while she was visiting Victor Cruz, her fiance and the baby's father, in Honduras.


May 9, 2016

Mosquito season brings no urgency for money to fight Zika

(Associated Press) The White House and Democrats are pressuring congressional Republicans to act on President Barack Obama's demands for money to combat Zika. But even the onset of a mosquito season that probably will spread the virus has failed to create a sense of urgency in Washington.

Treasury Secretary heads to Puerto Rico to pressure Congress

(Associated Press) Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is calling attention to the effect Puerto Rico's $70 billion debt crisis is having on the millions of Americans who live there and on the Republican-led Congress' struggle to come up with a solution.

Brazil scientists seek to unravel mystery of Zika twins

(Reuters) Scientists struggling to unravel the mysteries of a Zika epidemic in Brazil hope they can learn from cases of women giving birth to twins in which only one child is afflicted by the microcephaly birth defect associated with the virus.

Viajes Internacionales Afectan Donaciones de Sangre (International travel affecting blood donations)

(KRGV) La confirmación de casos del Virus del Zika y Chikungunya en la frontera está impactando el suministro de sangre en el Valle del Rio Grande. (The confirmation of cases of Zika virus and Chikungunya on the border is impacting the blood supply in the Rio Grande Valley.)

Corpus Christi to handle Zika like previous mosquito-borne viruses

(Corpus Christi Caller-Times) With mosquito-borne Zika virus declared an international health emergency by the World Health Organization, a larger emphasis has been placed on battling the different mosquito types found in the Coastal Bend, including the two species that can carry the disease.

Zika a year later: how a new virus took the Americas by surprise

(PAHO/WHO) The Zika virus epidemic has become notorious. It has made headlines in newspapers and television news programs around the world. Researchers on various continents are scrambling to discover more about it. And health authorities in the Americas are struggling to raise awareness of the potentially devastating impact of this new virus – without causing undue alarm.

UN establishes a trust fund to help combat the Zika virus

(Associated Press) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has established a U.N. trust fund to help finance urgent priorities in combatting the Zika virus.

Portable test for Zika infection could help contain spread of virus: researchers

(Canadian Press) Researchers have created a portable test that can show whether someone has been infected with the Zika virus, even in remote areas far from a hospital or lab.

Baseball scraps Puerto Rico series amid Zika concerns

(Associated Press) Zika virus concerns have forced the Pirates-Marlins series out of Puerto Rico, with the two games instead shifted to Miami this month.


May 6, 2016

Spain reports 1st case of Zika-linked microcephaly

(Associated Press) Health authorities say they've identified the first case in Spain of the birth defect microcephaly in the fetus of a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus.

Gulf Coast could be ground zero for Zika

(USA Today) The Gulf Coast may know hurricanes, but this year the region of 60 million people could find itself unprepared and at ground zero for a different type of storm: a mosquito-borne Zika epidemic. A look at the region's urban hubs, small towns and rural outposts shows a patchwork of preparedness. Cities such as Houston have robust plans in place, while smaller towns, such as Corpus Christi, Texas, struggle with fewer resources.

Study strengthens suspected link between Zika and paralysis

(Associated Press) A study in Brazil found nearly 90 per cent of people with a rare paralyzing condition said they had symptoms of Zika earlier — contributing to mounting evidence that Zika may be a cause. But there are caveats: It's a small study, and investigators don't yet have blood test results confirming the patients were infected with Zika before they suffered muscle weakness and paralysis.


May 5, 2016

Zika virus exposes need for greater public health funding, experts say

(McClatchy) Government funding cuts are helping to fuel wide variations in states’ ability to detect and respond to public health threats such as the Zika virus. That was the overriding conclusion of a panel of experts who gathered on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to discuss how to prevent and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

Bacteria blocks mosquitoes from transmitting Zika: Brazilian study

(Reuters) Infecting mosquitoes with a strain of bacteria known as Wolbachia significantly reduced their ability to transmit the Zika virus, Brazilian researchers said on Wednesday, raising hope for this biological method of blocking transmission of the deadly virus.

UTEP testing mosquitoes from Rio Grande Valley for Zika

(KVIA-TV) The demand for testing mosquitoes for the Zika Virus across Texas is so high--mosquito samples are being brought to El Paso. Mosquito samples from McAllen, Brownsville and across the Rio Grande Valley were bused to UTEP last week.

One-sixth of Brazil's microcephaly cases linked to Zika

(Indo Asian News Service) Microcephaly cases in Brazil have increased to 1,271, and almost one-sixth are linked to the Zika virus. Brazilian health ministry on Wednesday said between October 22 and April 30 out of 1,271 microcephaly cases 203 tested positive for the Zika virus.


May 4, 2016

Zika Virus Is Coming and We're Not Ready, U.S. Experts Say

(NBC News) Zika virus is going to start spreading in the U.S. and the country's not ready for it, experts said Tuesday.  It probably won't spread much — most U.S. areas don't have the right conditions for widespread transmission of the virus — but even a little is too much, the officials said.

U.S. airports respond to Zika virus threat

(USA Today) With the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro kicking off in just three months and a growing list of countries and territories around the world reporting active mosquito transmission of the Zika virus, U.S. airports are on an informal Zika virus watch.

Zika Outbreaks Expected in Large Portion of Americas

(Voice of America) Some 500 million people in the Americas and the Caribbean are at risk of getting the Zika virus. So far, 37 countries and territories are reporting transmission of the virus. Peru is the latest country to report transmission.

Vaccine against Zika will need up to 3 years of testing

(FOX News Latino) The first human trials with a vaccine against the Zika virus will begin this autumn, but it will be two or three years before researchers will know if it is successful against the disease, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Tuesday.


May 3, 2016

Controlling Zika mosquitoes may be 'lost cause'

(USA Today) Aedes aegypti, the exotically named mosquito that transmits the Zika virus, defies almost everything Americans think they know about mosquitoes, which means that even experts know very little about how to control them. Many communities are using mosquito-killing methods that don't work on the Aedes aegypti.

HHS awards $5 million to Puerto Rico health centers to fight the spread of Zika virus

(HHS.gov) Today, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $5 million in funding to 20 health centers in Puerto Rico to further combat the Zika virus disease. Health centers will use this funding to expand voluntary family planning services, including contraceptive services, outreach and education, and to hire more staff.

Pharos Biologicals, LLC Conducting Tests Of A Novel Zika Vaccine

(PR Newswire) Pharos Biologicals LLC has been awarded the exclusive worldwide licenses for a patented Lysosome-Associated Membrane Protein DNA vaccine technology, as well as for certain nanotechnologies to deliver the vaccines, by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The worldwide licenses are for use in the development and delivery of vaccines for influenza and flaviviruses.

Plano Releases Thousands Of Mosquitofish To Help Fight Zika

(CBS DFW) With the growing threat of Zika virus the city of Plano is turning to thousands of little killer fish to help in the war on mosquitoes. The pond at Oak Point Park is one of about a dozen areas throughout the city where Plano is releasing mosquitofish that eat the insects’ larvae.

Researchers look to repurpose approved drugs to treat Zika virus

(USA Today) The need for drugs to prevent and treat Zika infections grows with every new patient diagnosed. The virus causes devastating birth defects and is strongly linked to a type of paralysis called Guillain-Barre syndrome. That's why many researchers are taking a closer look at older drugs, testing them to see if they might block infection with the virus or prevent it from harm the brain and nervous system.


May 2, 2016

New discovery means more U.S. states will face a risk from Zika

(Washington Post) For the first time in the Western Hemisphere, researchers have detected the Zika virus in Aedes albopictus, the mosquito species known as the “Asian tiger,” a finding that increases the number of U.S. states potentially at risk for transmission of the disease.

Zika-Related Death Confirmed on U.S. Soil

(U.S. News and World Report) Health officials on Friday confirmed a Zika-related death in Puerto Rico – the first to occur on U.S. soil.  A report distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a patient died after developing severe thrombocytopenia, a condition in which blood platelets are deficient.

Zika virus: Risk higher than first thought, say doctors

(BBC) The mosquito-borne Zika virus may be even more dangerous than previously thought, scientists in Brazil say. They told the BBC that Zika could be behind more damaging neurological conditions, affecting the babies of up to a fifth of infected pregnant women.

Zika Virus Birth Defects May Be 'Tip of the Iceberg', Experts Say

(NBC News) The explosion of cases of birth defects caused by Zika virus may be the "tip of the iceberg," experts said Sunday. Many cases have probably been missed because babies looked normal when they were born. But hidden birth defects are almost certain to turn up as the babies grow, they told a meeting of pediatricians Sunday in Baltimore.

Congress heads out with no resolution on Zika, Puerto Rico

(Associated Press) Congress accomplished relatively little in a short work period, missing deadlines on the budget and on helping Puerto Rico with its financial crisis as lawmakers began a weeklong break. They left behind few clues about how they would address must-do items such as finding money to counter the Zika virus and a second, even scarier July 1 deadline for averting a fiscal disaster in cash-strapped Puerto Rico.


April 29, 2016

Brain Damage in Zika Babies Is Far Worse Than Doctors Expected

(Wall Street Journal) The scale and severity of prenatal damage by the Zika virus are far worse than past birth defects associated with microcephaly, a condition characterized by a small head and brain abnormalities. Scans, imaging and autopsies show that Zika eats away at the fetal brain. It shrinks or destroys lobes that control thought, vision and other basic functions. It prevents parts of the brain not yet formed from developing.

First Commercial Zika Virus Test Gets FDA Approval

(NBC News) The first commercial U.S. test to diagnose Zika virus won emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration Thursday. Quest Diagnostics says it should be able to handle any demand for the test, which uses the same method that government labs use to look for Zika virus in a patient's blood.

Sen. John Cornyn: Dems want a ‘blank check’ for Zika

(Washington Times) Senate Democrats are seeking a “blank check” to combat the Zika virus, a top Republican charged Thursday, as lawmakers prepared to skip town for a week without settling their quarrel over President Obama’s request for nearly $2 billion to resist the mosquito-borne disease.


April 28, 2016

House Speaker Ryan: All options open on Zika funding

(Reuters) House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday said a range of options to provide funds to fight Zika, adding that lawmakers take the threat seriously but have not yet decided the best way to allocate resources to prevent and combat the deadly virus.

Kalorama: Expect More Zika Assays

(PR Newswire) Emergency approvals of PCR and immunoassay-based Zika tests and the allocation of federal funds for more testing suggest more products are forthcoming, according to Kalorama Information. 

NASA Helps Forecast Zika Risk

(NASA News) NASA is assisting public health officials, scientists and communities to better understand Zika virus and try to limit the spread of the disease it causes. Scientists at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, have partnered with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and other institutions to forecast the potential spread of Zika virus in the United States.

Obama wants $1.9B to fight Zika: Where does it stand?

(Associated Press) President Barack Obama's $1.9 billion request for emergency money to combat the Zika virus has been sitting before Congress for more than two months, and there's no obvious path forward despite a growing threat in the hot summer months and increasing public anxiety.


April 27, 2016

Colombia Confirms More Birth Defects Linked to Zika

(New York Times) Colombian health officials said on Tuesday that they had confirmed two more cases of babies born with brain damage to mothers who had Zika during pregnancy, but said overall cases of the mosquito-borne virus were decreasing in the country.

New donation rules imposed by Zika virus mean more blood donors needed

(Global News Canada) New donation rules to protect the blood supply from the Zika virus are contributing to a blood donation shortage in Canada. Canadian Blood Services says 200,000 blood donations are needed by July to fill the need over the warmer months, with 18,000 blood donations needed in Metro Vancouver alone.

Senate Nears Deal for at Least $1.1 Billion to Fight Zika Virus

(New York Times) Senate negotiators on Tuesday moved closer to an agreement to provide at least $1.1 billion in emergency financing to combat the rapidly spreading Zika virus, which public health officials warn poses an imminent threat in the United States, but House Republicans said they were still not ready to approve additional funds.

Brazil says Zika-linked microcephaly cases stable at 4,908

(Reuters) The number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil associated with the Zika virus remained stable at 4,908 in the week through April 23, just one case more than a week earlier, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.


April 26, 2016

Zika: Warning Over Possible Spread To Europe

(Sky News) The UN's health agency has warned of the possible spread of the Zika virus to new parts of the world including Europe - even as the outbreak declines in Brazil.

What We Know About Zika: Despite Gains, Vast Gaps Remain In World's Understanding Of Virus, Summit Shows

(International Business Tribune) The world's understanding of the Zika virus has come a long way in a short time. In mid-April, scientists confirmed a causal link between the virus and microcephaly, among other birth defects. They also unearthed the possibility, and then confirmed, that the mosquito-borne virus can also be transmitted sexually.

Canada Confirms First Case of Sexually Transmitted Zika Virus

(Toronto Globe and Mail) Canada’s first confirmed case of sexually transmitted Zika virus highlights how much remains unknown about the frequency with which the disease spreads and the length of time exposed individuals continue to pose risks, according to a Canadian infectious disease expert.

Gulf Coast blood centers to start screening blood donations for Zika

(Houston Chronicle) Blood collection centers in Houston will be among the first in the nation to test donated blood for the Zika virus as part of a clinical trial of a new screening test.


April 25, 2016

U.S. agencies issues rules to protect workers from Zika

(Reuters) U.S. health and safety officials issued new guidelines on Friday to help protect workers from exposure to Zika, a mosquito-borne and sexually-transmitted virus that causes the birth defect microcephaly and other neurological disorders.

WHO warns of potential for 'marked increase' in Zika cases

(AFP) The World Health Organization warned Monday of the potential for a "marked increase" in the number of Zika infections in the coming months, and its spread to new parts of the world.

Zika: 8 países con casos de contagio persona a persona (Zika: Eight countries with person-to-person transmission)

(EFE) Ocho países han notificado a la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) de casos de zika por transmisión de persona a persona, en lugar del contagio habitual por la picadura del mosquito "Aedes aegypti", dijo este jueves la institución sanitaria. Los casos comunicados corresponden a Argentina, Chile, Estados Unidos, Francia, Italia, Nueva Zelanda, Perú y Portugal. (Eight countries have reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) cases of the Zika virus infection transmitted person-to-person, instead of the usual spread by the bite of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, the health agency said Thursday. The cases correspond to Argentina, Chile, United States, France, Italy, New Zealand, Peru and Portugal.)

 

Nearly 72,000 cases of Zika in Colombia since October

(AFP) Nearly 72,000 cases of Zika have been reported in Colombia since October, with almost 13,000 occurring in pregnant women, although the country is going through a decline in outbreaks, health authorities said Saturday.

Disease experts to compare Zika notes in Paris

(AFP) Some 600 disease experts from 43 nations will gather in Paris on Monday to pour over scant but increasingly worrisome data emerging about the Zika virus sweeping Latin America and threatening the world.

Zika funding battle steals states’ public health emergency money

(Washington Post) Cities and states preparing for possible Zika outbreaks this spring and summer are losing millions of federal dollars that local officials say they were counting on, not only for on-the-ground efforts to track and contain the spread of the mosquito-borne virus but also to respond to other emergencies that threaten public health.


April 22, 2016

Top Senate Republican: Zika funding to get floor vote

(Associated Press) A bipartisan measure to partially fund President Barack Obama's $1.9 billion request to combat the Zika virus will soon get a vote, a senior Senate Republican said on Thursday.

Pregnant woman in Houston area first expectant mother here testing positive for Zika

(Houston Chronicle) A pregnant woman in Fort Bend County who came from El Salvador earlier this year has tested positive for the Zika virus, Legacy Community Health announced. The case is believed to be the first confirmed positive test in an expectant mother in the Houston region.

Sin detectar aquí casos de zika (No detected cases of Zika in Chihuahua City, Mexico)

(El Diario, Chihuahua, Mexico) La Jurisdicción Sanitaria II no tiene ningún registro de casos de zika en la ciudad e informó que sólo un especialista puede determinar si un mosquito es portador o no del virus, ello por medio de un microscopio especializado y una serie de pruebas. (The Health Jurisdiction of Chihuahua City has no reports of cases of Zika in the city and noted that only a specialist can determine if a mosquito is a carrier or not the virus, using a specialized microscope and a series of tests.)


April 21, 2016

2.2 billion in 'at risk' Zika areas

(BBC) More than two billion people live in parts of the world where the Zika virus can spread, detailed maps published in the journal eLife show.

President Obama signs Zika virus bill

(CBS News) President Obama on Tuesday signed into law a bill aimed at encouraging pharmaceutical companies to help combat the Zika virus and develop vaccines. The legislation puts the Zika virus--a mosquito-borne illness that is spreading throughout South and Central America--to the Food and Drug Administration's priority review voucher program in order to jump-start the development of treatments for tropical diseases.

Senate GOP shoots for quick action on Zika funding bill

(Associated Press) Democrats say top GOP lawmakers are proposing to partially fund President Barack Obama's request for money to fight the Zika virus. The $1.1 billion measure circulating Wednesday comes in advance of an Appropriations panel meeting on Thursday and was being worked on with Democrats in hopes of winning their support.

Texas, Valley closely monitoring for Zika-carrying mosquitoes

(Brownsville Herald) Now that 222 cases of Zika have been reported in Mexico, many are concerned that the disease will travel to the southern regions of Texas. No mosquitoes in Cameron County so far have been found to be carrying the disease. At this point, however, the Texas Department of State Health Services does not know if it’s going to be a bigger issue than originally thought.


April 20, 2016

Cuts to public health could hamper Zika preparation, response

(USA Today) Recent cuts to public health could hamper the USA's ability to fight the Zika virus, widely expected to arrive here this summer as mosquitoes begin biting. A report released Tuesday shows the USA reduced spending on public health by hundreds of millions of dollars in the past several years.


April 19, 2016

Senate Democrats press for $1.9B to fight Zika virus

(Associated Press) Democrats are pressing top Senate Republicans to stop dragging their feet and act immediately on President Barack Obama's request for $1.9 billion to combat the Zika virus.

News about the Zika virus outbreak

(NOWCastSA) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a total of 358 Travel-associated Zika virus disease cases reported in the U.S.

The untreatable Zika virus just reached another country

(Business Insider) A Central American country has been added to the Zika travel advisory list. On Monday, April 18, the CDC added Belize to the list of countries and territories with local transmission of the virus.

Still many questions about Zika's threat to pregnant women

(Associated Press) Zika may stand convicted of causing devastating birth defects but there still are lots of questions about how much of a threat the virus poses to pregnant women, and what to do about it.

Mosquito that transmits Zika found in Chile

(Associated Press) Chile's health ministry says the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus has been found in the South American country. The presence of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito in Chilean continental areas was reported Monday.

Eradication of Zika-spreading mosquito in Brazil unlikely

(Associated Press) In the 1940s and 1950s, Brazilian authorities made such a ferocious assault on Aedes aegypti - the mosquito that spreads the Zika virus - that it was eradicated from Latin America's largest country by 1958. But Aedes aegypti returned, and now Brazil has launched another offensive against the pest, employing hundreds of thousands of troops to fumigate and educate people about how to eliminate its habitats.


April 18, 2016

CDC: 182 Zika Cases Discovered in U.S.

(U.S. News and World Report) Zika virus tests of 5,000 of people in the U.S. have turned up just under 200 confirmed infections, only seven in pregnant women who had no symptoms of illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

Health official: Zika not worry now for pregnant women in US

(Associated Press) A top public health official says there's been no local transmission of the Zika virus in the United States, so any talk about women in the country delaying pregnancy "is not even an issue for discussion at this point."

Local Zika outbreaks in United States 'likely': U.S. official

(Reuters) The United States is likely to see outbreaks of the Zika virus, with perhaps dozens or scores of people affected, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Sunday.


April 15, 2016

Zika Virus Funding: States Feeling The Squeeze As Congress Holds Out On $1.8 Billion In Emergency Money

(International Business Times) Dr. Edward Ehlinger is bracing himself for several tough decisions he may have to make in the coming months. Should the Minnesota Department of Health, of which he is commissioner, delay investing in new lab equipment to rapidly diagnose infectious diseases? Or, should it cut down on a stockpile of antibiotics that would prove crucial in the event of an outbreak? Such sacrifices are distinct possibilities without an influx of federal funding, traceable directly to a battle in Washington, D.C., over the Zika virus.

Gay Men Can Catch Zika Virus Through Sex, Too, Officials Confirm

(NBC News) Gay men can get Zika virus through sexual transmission too, just as women can, state and federal health officials said Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Texas health officials published details about the first case of sexual transmission of Zika seen in this outbreak, in Dallas last January. It turns out it was the case of one man infecting another.

En México no han nacido bebés con microcefalia asociada al zika: SSa (In Mexico, the federal health agency reports no babies have been born with microcephaly associated with Zika)

(Cronica.com.mx) La Secretaría de Salud federal dio a conocer que hasta ayer habían nacido en México siete bebés cuyas madres fueron diagnosticadas con infección del virus del zika, pero, en ninguno de los casos se presentó la malformación llamada microcefalia, que consiste en un crecimiento del cráneo menor a lo normal y un posible daño neurológico. (The Federal Ministry of Health announced that through yesterday seven babies have been born in Mexico whose mothers were diagnosed with a Zika virus infection, but none of them had the birth defect known as microcephaly, which is a growth of minor head normal and possible neurological damage.)

Colombia Reports First Cases of Microcephaly Linked to Zika Virus

(New York Times) Colombian health officials said on Thursday that they had discovered two cases of microcephaly linked to the Zika virus, the first to be confirmed in the country since the infection began to spread there late last year.


April 14, 2016

CDC: Zika definitely causes severe birth defects

(Associated Press) Confirming the worst fears of many pregnant women in the United States and Latin America, U.S. health officials said Wednesday there is no longer any doubt the Zika virus causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and other severe brain defects.

Confirmation that Zika causes microcephaly shifts debate to prevention

(Reuters) After several weeks of study and debate, U.S. health officials concluded that infection with the Zika virus during pregnancy causes the birth defect microcephaly, a finding that experts hope will refocus attention on efforts to stop infections and prompt U.S. lawmakers to fund emergency prevention efforts.

New Zika case confirmed in Bexar County

(San Antonio Express-News) San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District confirmed a new case of Zika in Bexar County, bringing the total number of local patients diagnosed with the virus to four.


April 13, 2016

Congress sends Obama bill on Zika drug development

(Reuters) U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday approved a bill to provide financial incentives to companies developing treatments for the Zika virus, and the White House said President Barack Obama was expected to sign the legislation although it is insufficient to meet the challenge.

UT researchers develop algae to fight mosquitoes, Zika

(KVUE-TV) For the past six years, researchers at the University of Texas have been working on an algae they feel can change the mosquito population. “This could stop Zika, West Nile and other viruses,” one said.

Brazil to temporarily let loose transgenic mosquitoes to combat Zika

(Xinhua) Brazil will temporarily allow genetically modified mosquitoes to be set free to help reduce the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus, Brazilian health authorities said on Tuesday.


April 12, 2016

The more we learn about Zika, the scarier it is, health officials say

The more researchers learn about the Zika virus, the scarier it appears, federal health officials said Monday as they urged more money for mosquito control and to develop vaccines and treatments.

Zika Fight Requires More Money, Congress Is Told

(New York Times) Two senior Obama administration officials said on Monday that the government did not have enough money to effectively combat and treat the Zika virus, which they called a more profound threat to the United States than experts once believed.

Texas Solid Waste & Resource Management Leaders issue Warning to State Lawmakers about Zika Virus Threat

(EIN Newswire) A group of Texans whose expertise is in solid waste and resource management are encouraging state lawmakers to address Texas’s critical scrap tire issue. Friday, Vance Kemler, the president of the Municipal Solid Waste and Resource Recovery Advisory Council, announced that Texas’s large quantity of illegally dumped scrap tires creates perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes possibly carrying the harmful Zika virus.

Health Officials Say Mosquitoes that Spread Zika Now in 30 States

(ABC News) Federal health officials said in a joint conference today the mosquitoes species that spread the Zika virus are now in 30 states. This is more than double the 12 states they had been found previously. With mosquito season coming, they stressed the immediate importance of prevention and research.

Summer is coming to Europe and US, and maybe Zika with it: experts

(AFP) With summer approaching, Zika may find its way into virus-carrying mosquitoes in Europe or the United States, disease experts have warned, but any outbreaks are likely to be small and short-lived.


April 11, 2016

Survey of Blood Collection Centers and Implementation of Guidance for Prevention of Transfusion-Transmitted Zika Virus Infection — Puerto Rico, 2016

(CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) Since November 2015, Puerto Rico has reported active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus. Because of the potential for Zika virus to be transmitted through transfusion of blood components, and because a high percentage of persons infected with Zika virus are asymptomatic, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that blood collections cease in areas of the United States affected by active vector-borne transmission of Zika virus until laboratory screening of blood donations or pathogen reduction technology (PRT)* for treatment of blood components can be implemented.

Brazilian scientists find new Zika-linked brain disorder in adults

(Reuters) Scientists in Brazil have uncovered a new brain disorder associated with Zika infections in adults: an autoimmune syndrome called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, or ADEM, that attacks the brain and spinal cord.

Rubio endorses Obama’s $1.9B request to fight Zika

(Miami Herald) Florida health officials confirmed two new Zika virus infections on Friday — raising the statewide total to 84 cases, most in the nation — as former Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio said he supports President Obama's request to Congress for $1.9 billion in emergency funding to combat the spread of the infectious disease.

Colombia investiga 30 casos de microcefalia sospechosos de estar asociados con Zika (Colombia investigates 30 cases of microcephaly suspected to be associated with Zika)

(Reuters) Colombia estudia 30 casos de microcefalia que se sospecha están asociados con el virus de Zika, mientras la cantidad de personas infectadas sigue subiendo en el segundo país de Latinoamérica con más afectados por la enfermedad. (Officials in Colombia are looking at 30 cases of microcephaly suspected of being associated with the Zika virus. Meanwhile, the number of people infected continues to rise in the country second-most-affected with the disease in Latin America.)


April 8, 2016

Poll: Some key gaps in Americans' knowledge about Zika virus

(Associated Press) Americans don't know a lot about the Zika virus that is linked to birth defects and creeping steadily closer to the U.S., according to a new poll that found about 4 in 10 say they've heard little to nothing about the mosquito-borne threat.

New Dengue Vaccine May Form Basis for Zika Vaccine

(NBC News) A new vaccine protected 100 percent of volunteers from getting infected with dengue virus, a sometimes deadly mosquito-borne germ that's a close cousin of Zika virus.

Canadian innovation for killing mosquito eggs could help Zika fight

(MedicalXpress.com) With Canadian Government funding, a team of innovators from Canada and Mexico have successfully tested a low cost, environmentally-friendly way of destroying the eggs of the mosquito genus that spreads dengue, and likely spreading the Zika virus. The 10-month study, conducted in a remote, urban area of Guatemala, documents a cheap, easy system to reduce virus-carrying Aedesgenus mosquitoes by capturing and destroying its eggs. The results appear today in the F1000Research Zika & Arbovirus Outbreaks channel.

Hospitals, blood banks taking Zika precautions

(Florida Suncoast News) The microscopic virus that is spread through mosquitoes and results in horribly deformed newborn babies appears to be at Florida’s gate and health officials are closely watching developments and gearing up for the onslaught.


April 7, 2016

White House: $589M from Ebola to go to fight Zika virus

(Associated Press) Federal money left over from the largely successful fight against Ebola will now go to combating the growing threat of the Zika virus, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.

Brain scans of microcephalic babies suggest Zika disrupts development

(Reuters) Brain scans of 23 Brazilian infants with the birth defect microcephaly showed widespread and severe abnormalities suggesting that Zika may invade fetal nerve cells and disrupt brain development.

Immunovaccine and Leidos Join Forces to Develop a Zika Virus Vaccine Candidate

(Marketwired) Immunovaccine Inc. ("Immunovaccine" or the "company") (IMV.TO)(IMMVF), a clinical stage vaccine and immunotherapy company, and Leidos (LDOS), a health, national security and infrastructure solutions company, today announced they will collaborate on developing a vaccine against the mosquito-borne Zika virus and infection, which may be linked to neurological birth defects.

Trophoblasts resistant to Zika/Zika in the mouse

(Science News) Two unrelated studies on the Zika virus--one ruling out a theory for how Zika may be passing through the human placenta and another on using mouse models to trace Zika pathogenesis--appear April 5 in Cell Host & Microbe.

 

Expert worries U.S. Zika outbreak could be "public health equivalent of Katrina"

(CBS News) Tropical disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez has been warning for months that poor neighborhoods on the Gulf Coast are similar to poor neighborhoods in Brazil, the epicenter of the Zika pandemic. Broken screens, lack of air conditioning, and standing water make for perfect breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry Zika.


April 6, 2016

White House to transfer Ebola funds to combat Zika virus

(Associated Press) The Obama administration is to announce Wednesday it will transfer leftover money from the largely successful fight against Ebola to combat the growing threat of the Zika virus, congressional officials say.

AACC Joins March of Dimes to Urge Congress to Fund Efforts to Combat Zika in the U.S.

(PR Newswire) Today, AACC, the March of Dimes, and 66 other major healthcare organizations called for Congress to provide immediate emergency funding to prepare for potential Zika outbreaks in the U.S. by strengthening laboratory testing and rapid response capabilities for the virus. The organizations assert that this is a crucial step toward protecting pregnant women and infants from this devastating infection.

UN agency to train dozens of experts on nuclear-related techniques to identify Zika

(United Nations News Service) The United Nations atomic energy agency plans to train dozens of participants this month from mostly Latin America and Caribbean countries on how to use nuclear-derived techniques to detect the Zika virus in as short a time as three hours.

Zika mystery deepens with evidence of nerve cell infections

(Reuters) Top Zika investigators now believe that the birth defect microcephaly and the paralyzing Guillain-Barre syndrome may be just the most obvious maladies caused by the mosquito-borne virus.


April 5, 2016

Hawaii researchers focus on data to combat Zika virus

(Associated Press) As the Zika outbreak takes hold in Latin America, researchers thousands of miles away in Hawaii are using data to figure out where it might spread next. In the last three months, researchers from the University of Hawaii at the Pacific Disaster Center have focused on combatting the mosquito-spread virus.

University of Houston Law Center workshop to explore preparations for control of Zika virus

(PR Newswire) Concerns over confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Houston have prompted the Health Law & Policy Institute (HLPI) at the University of Houston Law Center to schedule a workshop to address public health preparations and legal measures that would assist in controlling the spread of the disease that can cause severe birth defects. The April 8 event is aimed at public health professionals, county and city government officials, and the public.

The untreatable Zika virus just reached another island nation

(Business Insider) An island country in the South Pacific has become the latest to be added to the Zika travel advisory list. On Monday, April 4 the CDC added Fiji to the list of countries and territories with local transmission of the virus. The agency also added Kosrae, an island in the Federated States of Micronesia to the list on April 1.


April 4, 2016

World Health Organization launches Zika app for healthcare workers

(MobiHealthNews.com) The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new app this month, called WHO Zika App, which offers medical reference information about the Zika virus. The app is specifically designed for health care workers and responders, but can also be used by the general public.

State health officials urged to get ready now for Zika in US

(Associated Press) The government urged health officials around the country Friday to get ready now in case there are outbreaks of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the U.S. this summer. At a “Zika Summit” on Friday, experts prodded some 300 state and local officials gathered at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters to make Zika response plans now.

Zika Virus Inactivated in Plasma for Transfusion

(LabMedica.com) Several processes have been developed for the inactivation of pathogens during the preparation of fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) and platelet (PLT) concentrates. Among them, a photochemical treatment using the psoralen, amotosalen, S-59, in combination with ultraviolet A (UVA) illumination, has been shown to inactivate a broad range of viruses, bacteria, and protozoans.

Colombia registra 61.393 casos de zika, 11.239 en embarazadas (Colombia records 61,393 cases of Zika virus infection, 11,239 in pregnant women)

(AFP) Colombia registra 61.393 personas infectadas por el virus del Zika, de los cuales 11.239 corresponden a mujeres embarazadas, superado ya el pico epidémico del virus, informó este sábado el Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS). (Colombia has reported 61,393 people infected with the Zika virus, and of those 11,239 are pregnant women, and the country has reached the peak of the epidemic, the National Institute of Health reported Saturday.)


April 1, 2016

Researchers discover structure of Zika virus

(USA Today) A team of researchers has determined the structure of the Zika virus, an important discovery in the development of antiviral treatments and vaccines.

Spread of Zika virus appears to be slowing in parts of Latin America

(Washington Post) In several Latin American nations hit hard by the Zika epidemic, the transmission of the virus appears to have peaked, with the number of infections declining in recent weeks, according to governments in the region and the latest World Health Organization data.

Zika Is Linked To Microcephaly, Health Agencies Confirm

(NPR) The World Health Organization says there is now scientific consensus that the Zika virus is connected with microcephaly — a condition in which babies are born with very small heads and brain damage.

U.S. study may point the way on how to beat the Zika virus

(Reuters) A molecular map of Zika has revealed important structural differences on a key protein of the virus that may explain why the pathogen attacks nerve cells while other viruses in the same family do not, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

Arman en Tamaulipas equipo multidisciplinario para combatir dengue, zika y chukingunya (Tamaulipas forms multidisciplinary team to fight dengue, Zika and chikungunya)

(Hoy Tamaulipas) Con estrategias definidas que permitan evitar brotes epidémicos por dengue, zika o chikungunya, en particular en zonas consideradas de mayor riesgo del Estado, el Gobierno de Egidio Torre Cantú inició el despliegue de brigadas interinstitucionales y de participación comunitaria para yugular la propagación del mosquito transmisor (Aedes aegypti) mediante acciones anticipatorias de eliminación de criaderos y saneamiento básico. (With defined strategies to prevent outbreaks of dengue, Zika or chikungunya, particularly in areas of the state considered at greater risk, the government of Egidio Torre Cantú began the deployment of multi-organizational and community groups to stem the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito by eliminating breeding sites and implementing basic sanitation).


March 31, 2016

FDA allows use of investigational test to screen blood donations for Zika virus

(FDA) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the availability of an investigational test to screen blood donations for Zika virus. The screening test may be used under an investigational new drug application (IND) for screening donated blood in areas with active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus.

FDA Allows Zika Test for Blood Donations

(Wall Street Journal) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that it would allow the use of an investigational test to screen blood donations for the Zika virus. The test, manufactured by Roche Molecular Systems Inc., can be used under an investigational new drug application for screening donated blood in areas with active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus.

CDC expands range of Zika mosquito into parts of Northeast

(Associated Press) The mosquitoes that can transmit the Zika virus may live in a broader swath of the U.S. than previously thought, but that doesn't mean they'll cause disease here, federal health officials said Wednesday.

Early ultrasounds may not detect microcephaly in mothers with Zika: study

(Reuters) Three ultrasounds done in the early weeks of pregnancy in a Finnish woman living in the United States infected by Zika failed to show signs of brain damage in a fetus later diagnosed with the birth defect microcephaly, U.S. researchers said in a study published on Wednesday.


March 30, 2016

1 in 3 Americans mistakenly believe Zika is spread by coughing

(USA Today) Many Americans are unaware of the basic facts about the Zika virus, which is spreading rapidly through the Americas and could reach the continental U.S. this summer. While 87% of people know that Zika is spread by mosquitoes, nearly one in three people mistakenly believe that it also can be spread by coughing or sneezing, like a cold, according to a survey of 1,275 adults from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the National Public Health Information Coalition, a group that serves public relations officers.

Brazil's confirmed, suspected microcephaly cases rise to 5,235

(Reuters) The number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil associated with the Zika virus rose to 5,235 in the week through March 25, from 5,200 a week earlier, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

El virus del Zika se extiende a todo Brasil (The Zika virus has spread throughout all of Brazil)

(EFE) El zika ya se ha propagado a todo el territorio de Brasil, que es uno de los países más afectados por el virus y por los casos de microcefalia en recién nacidos asociados a esa enfermedad, informó hoy el Gobierno. (The Zika virus has spread throughout all of Brazil, one of the countries most affected by the virus and cases of microcephaly in newborns associated with the disease, the government said Tuesday.)

Nace bebé sano de madre infectada con zika en Puerto Rico (Healthy baby born to mother infected with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico)

(Associated Press) Una segunda madre infectada con el virus del zika, que se transmite por picaduras de mosquito, dio a luz a un bebé sano, informó la secretaria de Salud de Puerto Rico. (A second mother infected with the Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquito bites, gave birth to a healthy baby, the Secretary of Health of Puerto Rico reported.)

Stopping Zika: Should we be handing out condoms at airports?

(CNN) Welcome to the U.S.! Have a condom! That's the message millions of travelers might hear when stepping off an airplane, as public health experts look for ways to stop the Zika virus. New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released last week, tell men to consider using condoms after returning from a country where Zika is spreading, including such popular vacation spots as the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico.


March 29, 2016

Elmo joins campaign against Zika virus

(CNN) Two members of the "Sesame Street" Muppets are the newest celebrities to join the campaign against the Zika virus. Elmo and his aqua green-skinned friend Raya will now be spreading the word to children and families about the mosquito-borne disease plaguing the Caribbean and Central and South America, and linked to serious birth defects.

U.S. scientists develop mouse model to test Zika vaccines, drugs

(Reuters) U.S. scientists have identified a genetically modified strain of mice that develop Zika, an important tool needed for testing vaccines and medicines to treat the virus that is rapidly spreading across the Americas and the Caribbean.

Puerto Rico sees rise in Zika cases, paralyzing condition

(Associated Press) Puerto Rico says more than 100 new cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus have been reported in the past week. Health authorities said Monday that the U.S. territory now has 350 cases, 40 of which involve pregnant women.

Se elevan los casos de zika a 183 en México (Zika cases in Mexico up to 183)

Durante la última semana se elevaron a 183 los casos confirmados del virus zika, mientras que el pasado 21 de marzo se habían reportado 160, informó la dirección general de Epidemiología de la Secretaría de Salud. Los casos específicamente en mujeres embarazadas, también crecieron, al pasar de 30 a 42. (During the last week, the number of confirmed cases of Zika virus rose to 183. On March 21 there were 160, the General Directorate of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health reported. Cases in pregnant women also rose, from 30 to 42.)

Officials: Zika-infected couples should postpone pregnancy

(Associated Press) Federal health officials on Friday issued first-time guidance for couples planning a pregnancy if either partner may have been exposed to Zika, the tropical disease linked to birth defects.

Zika hypothesis: Virus arrived in Brazil during Confederations Cup soccer tournament 2013

(Outbreak News Today) Scientists from the University of Oxford (UK) and the Evandro Chagas Institute (Brazil), along with collaborators from a number of other institutions, sequenced seven genomes of the Brazilian Zika virus (ZIKV), including one fatal adult case and one newborn with microcephaly. The analysis shows that Zika virus in the Americas arose from a single introduction, estimated to have occurred between May and December 2013, more than 12 months prior to the first detection of ZIKV in Brazil.


March 24, 2016

Assay developed to find a cure for Zika virus

(Science Daily) As reports of the Zika virus outbreak began to emerge from Brazil and portions of South and Central America, infectious disease researchers in the Drug Discovery labs of Southern Research were already taking steps to help combat its spread.

Australian leaves Vietnam infected with Zika

(Tuoitrenews Vietnam) An Australian tourist has been diagnosed with Zika after visiting Vietnam, a WHO agency confirmed on Wednesday. The foreigner has suffered from typhus and a fever since March 8 after returning to Australia two days earlier.

Brazil Announces New Spending to Combat Zika-Carrying Mosquito

(Latin American Herald-Tribune) Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday announced 649 million reais ($180 million) in new investment to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the transmitter of Zika, dengue fever and Chikungunya.

Brazil confirms 907 Zika-linked microcephaly cases

(AFP) Brazil has confirmed 907 cases of microcephaly and 198 babies with the birth defect who have died since the Zika virus outbreak started in October, authorities said. Health officials are still working on 4,293 suspicious cases, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

By the numbers: Zika virus in the U.S.

(Los Angeles Times) Zika virus, the global public health emergency suspected of causing birth defects, has arrived on America's shores. Though mosquitoes aren't carrying or spreading the disease here, 258 people, including 18 pregnant women, have been diagnosed with Zika virus in the United States since the beginning of this year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Congress Goes Home for Easter Break Without Paying for Zika Fight

(NBC News) Congress took off from Washington Wednesday afternoon without voting to appropriate any of the $1.9 billion the Obama administration has asked for to fight Zika and leaving top health officials feeling a little desperate.

Special Report: Here's what we know about Zika

(Science News) A stealth virus, most often borne on the wings of a ubiquitous predator, is spreading across the Americas. Zika virus is the latest of several that are carried by mosquitoes. But Zika isn’t a new foe. Discovered in Uganda in 1947 in a rhesus monkey (during an infectious-disease study), the virus was found in humans a decade later in Nigeria.

WHO begs for $4 million to prepare for millions of Zika cases

The World Health Organization is still waiting for its members to stump up another $4 million to tackle the growing threat from the Zika virus, WHO chief Margaret Chan said on Tuesday.


March 23, 2016

Brazil says confirmed and suspected microcephaly cases rise to 5,200

(Reuters) The number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil associated with the Zika virus rose to 5,200 in the week through March 19, from 5,131 a week earlier, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

U.S. CDC urges doctors to prevent Zika spread during labor, delivery

(Reuters) U.S. health officials are reminding healthcare workers to use standard protective gear when delivering babies to prevent possible infection with Zika or transmission of the virus to newborns.

Development Of Zika Virus Vaccine Underway In Multiple Countries: WHO

(United Nations News Service)  India is among five countries where projects are underway to develop vaccines to fight the Zika virus currently circulating in 38 countries. At present, WHO says more than 30 companies are working on, or have developed, potential new diagnostic tests. For vaccines, 23 projects are being worked on by 14 vaccine developers in the US, France, Brazil, India and Austria, WHO said.

Global spread of Zika linked to types of mosquitos that transmit it

(University of Texas) More cities than previously assumed could soon grapple with the Zika virus if two species of mosquitos are found to be equally effective carriers of the disease, a University of Texas at Austin disease ecologist and his colleagues argue in the current edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

More than 2,500 births with microcephaly in Brazil, WHO predicts

(Washington Post) The World Health Organization said Tuesday that it expects Brazil will have more than 2,500 babies born with a severe birth defect known as microcephaly if current trends continue in the Zika virus outbreak. Data from Brazil, the epicenter of an epidemic that has hit more than three dozen countries and territories in the Americas, show that about 39 percent of 2,212 investigated cases of microcephaly are already confirmed for the rare congenital condition.

House Speaker Ryan says U.S. has 'plenty of money' for Zika

(Reuters) U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Tuesday that the federal government has "plenty of money" to combat the rapidly spreading mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is spreading through the Americas and has been linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil.


March 22, 2016

U.S. Senate Passes Incentive for Zika Vaccine

(WMFE) The U.S. Senate has passed a bill encouraging companies to develop a Zika vaccine. Companies that develop a Zika vaccine would get fast-track FDA approval of their next venture in the future. That would be done through a voucher program.

Bexar County Commissioners to discuss Zika outreach (Transcript only)

(KABB-TV) Bexar County Commissioners Court is trying to prevent the spread of Zika. It's the mosquito-borne virus that causes fever, rash and joint pain. Today, the court is expected to hold a discussion on educating the public about the virus. It will also discuss what should happen with community outreach. Since last month, Bexar County has had three confirmed Zika cases. All of those patients caught the virus while traveling abroad. Currently there is no treatment or vaccine for Zika.

En Venezuela existen más de 20 mil casos sospechosos del virus Zika (More than 20,000 cases of Zika virus infections suspected in Venezuela)

(El Venezolano) La ministra venezolana para la Salud, Luisana Melo, informó este lunes que hasta la fecha existen 26 mil casos sospechosos del virus Zika en toda Venezuela. (Venezuelan health minister Luisana Melo saud Monday that there are 26,000 suspected cases of Zika virus infections in Venezuela.)


March 21, 2016

‘Zika has shaken us to our core’: Puerto Rico prepares for the worst as epidemic looms

(New York Times) The Zika virus has begun spreading through Puerto Rico, now the United States’ front line in a looming epidemic. One-quarter of the island’s 3.5 million people will probably get the Zika virus within a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and eventually 80 percent or more may be infected.

New CDC Laboratory Test for Zika Virus Authorized for Emergency Use by FDA

(CDC) In response to a request from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Trioplex Real-time RT-PCR Assay, a diagnostic tool for Zika virus that will be distributed to qualified laboratories.

Puerto Rico lab is ground zero in the U.S. fight against Zika

(Washington Post) As the Zika virus speeds through the hemisphere, a cluster of one-story buildings set in the shade of banyan and mango trees has become the epicenter of the U.S. fight against the pathogen. Behind an unmarked gated entrance in this working-class neighborhood of San Juan, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have only one focus: to stop Zika’s spread.

Zika virus report

(DirectRelief.org) The Zika virus is endemic to parts of Africa and Asia, but in recent months, countries throughout the Americas have, for the first time, seen a spike in new cases. The dramatic rise in cases — estimated between 400,000 and 1.3 million — qualifies the rapidly spreading Zika virus as a region-wide pandemic.

Meet the U.S. military super scientists fighting to destroy the Zika virus

(Medill Military News Service) While the U.S. Navy is better known for its role in protecting Americans from enemies abroad, its scientists also work in labs throughout the world, combatting an unseen enemy: infectious disease. And now, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit 6, based in Lima, Peru, has set its sights on the Zika virus — declared by the World Health Organization to be a public health emergency.

Panama finds first case of microcephaly tied to Zika

(Associated Press) Doctors in Panama have identified a baby born with a rare brain disorder thought to be linked to Zika, the first such case outside Brazil.


March 18, 2016

Brownsville Named in Zika Virus Study

(KRGV-TV) Poverty rates and the south Texas climate are factors that increase human exposure to the Zika virus. A study released by the Public Library of Science Journal looked at 50 cities in the U.S. on the risk of Zika exposure through a certain mosquito. The city of Brownsville was one of the cities named.

Blood Drives Canceled In Yuma County Over Zika Concerns

(KJZZ-FM) Two blood drives have now been canceled in Yuma County due to Zika concerns. This is leading to donation shortages of certain blood types in southwestern Arizona.

Zika: la Colombie annonce que le pic de l'épidémie est passé (Colombia announces that the peak of the epidemic has passed)

(L’Union) La Colombie a annoncé mercredi que le pic de l'épidémie de Zika, enregistré au cours des deux premières semaines de février, était passé dans le pays, faisant état d'une amélioration plus rapide qu'attendue. (Colombia announced Wednesday that the peak of the Zika epidemic of Zika in the country came during the first two weeks of February, indicating a faster improvement than expected.

In fight against Zika, Brazil battles neglect, cash crunch

(Associated Press) For several months last year cities and states on the front lines of the epidemic in Brazil's northeast ran out of larvicide, and supplies nationwide had to be rationed, according to interviews with local health officials and documents obtained by The Associated Press from prosecutors investigating the shortages. The lack of larvicide is only one of a string of public health failings crippling Brazil's ability to manage the Zika outbreak and the surge in rare birth defects thought to be linked to it.

Can We Keep Zika Out of the US Blood Supply?

(National Geographic) If Zika virus comes to the United States, will the US blood supply be at risk? Because the disease has demonstrated that it can pass via blood from mother to fetus, and via other bodily fluids between sexual partners, the question lurks in the back of most discussions of Zika’s likely arrival on the US mainland.

Comprehensive 6-Step Plan to Combat Zika Virus

(Hudson Valley News Network) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Thursday, March 17, 2016, a comprehensive six-step action plan to combat potential transmission of the Zika Virus in communities across New York State.

Crean línea de ropa especial para combatir al zika (New line of clothes designed to fight Zika)

(El Nacional) La compañía brasileña Megadose, que vende ropa para mujeres embarazadas, comercializó desde el 10 de marzo una línea de ropa “antizika”. El secreto es repeler al mosquito transmisor de la enfermedad bañando el tejido en nanopartículas de citronela, un supuesto repelente para mosquitos. (The Brazilian company Megadose, which sells maternity clothes, has been selling an anti-Zika line since March 10. The secret is that the fabric is bathed in microscopic citronella, which repels mosquitoes.)

El riesgo de microcefalia asociada al zika es del 14 % en Brasil, según un studio (The risk of microcephaly associated with the Zika virus us 14 percent in Brazil, according to a study)

(EFE) Investigadores de la Universidad de Tokio afirman que contraer la infección por el virus del zika en estadios tempranos del embarazo podría incrementar el riesgo de que el feto desarrolle microcefalia hasta en más de un 14 por ciento en Brasil. (Researchers at Tokyo University say an infection from the Zika virus in the early stages of pregnancy may increase the risk that the fetus will develop microcephaly by more than 14 percent in Brazil.)

Virus del Zika llegó a 33 países y territorios desde 2014: OMS (WHO: The Zika virus has spread to 33 countries and territories since 2014)

(Notimex) La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) informó hoy que la propagación del virus del Zika aumentó de manera constante desde 2014, cuando fue detectado por primera vez en América, donde 33 países y territorios han documentado casos. Indicó en un comunicado que la presencia de Zika ha sido reportada en un total de 59 países y territorios entre el 1 de enero de 2007 y el 16 de marzo pasado, y que cinco de ellos ya informaron que los brotes que registraban ya terminaron. (The World Health Organization reported today that the spread of the virus Zika increased steadily since 2014, when it was first detected in the Americas, where 33 countries and territories have documented cases. Zika has been reported in a total of 59 countries and territories between Jan. 1 and March 16, and five of them already reported outbreaks are over.


March 17, 2016

(Click here to see a larger version of the NCAR distribution map)

Potential Zika Virus Risk Estimated For 50 U.S. Cities

(National Center for Atmospheric Research) Key factors that can combine to produce a Zika virus outbreak are expected to be present in a number of U.S. cities during peak summer months, new research shows. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is spreading the virus in much of Latin America and the Caribbean, will likely be increasingly abundant across much of the southern and eastern United States as the weather warms, according to a new study led by mosquito and disease experts at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Could common herb help fight Zika?

(CBS News) Scientists at the University of New Mexico's Health Sciences Center say this recipe could be key to stopping mosquitoes from spreading the Zika virus. The main ingredient is oil from lemongrass leaves. Scientists mix the lemongrass oil with sugar, yeast and heat, to create a microscopic doughnut irresistible to mosquito larvae.

Dos mexicanos desarrollan vacuna contra zika en Reino Unido (Two Mexican scientists are developing a vaccination for the Zika virus in the United Kingdom)

(Entravision) Dos científicos mexicanos pudieran ser quienes descubran la solución al virus del zika, el cual ha generado miles de contagios en América en los últimos meses. Arturo Reyes y César López, originarios de Puebla, son investigadores del Instituto Jenner (especializado en el desarrollo de vacunas) de la Universidad de Oxford, en Reino Unido, refiere el sitio López Dóriga Digital. (Two Mexican scientists may have found a solution for the Zika virus, which has generated thousands of infections in recent months. Arturo Reyes and César López, both orioginally from Puebla, are researchers at the Jenner Institute (which specializes in the development of vaccines) at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, the website López Dóriga Digital reports.)

Experimental Dengue Vaccine Protects All Recipients in Virus Challenge Study

(National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) ​A clinical trial in which volunteers were infected with dengue virus six months after receiving either an experimental dengue vaccine developed by scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or a placebo injection yielded starkly contrasting results. All 21 volunteers who received the vaccine, TV003, were protected from infection, while all 20 placebo recipients developed infection.

Volunteering for infection in hunt for dengue, Zika vaccines

(Associated Press) Forget mosquito bites. Volunteers let researchers inject them with the dengue virus in the name of science - and an experimental vaccine protected them. Next up, scientists plan to use this same strategy against dengue's cousin, the Zika virus.


March 16, 2016

Women with Zika in Tahiti had 1 percent birth defects risk

(Associated Press) Women who got pregnant during a Zika outbreak in Tahiti two years ago had about a 1 percent chance of having a baby with an abnormally small head, according to a new study published Tuesday. It's a surprisingly low risk that experts say might not match the threat of the epidemic now spreading explosively in the Americas.

Study strengthens Zika-microcephaly link, women and babies at risk

(Reuters) Thousands of pregnant women caught in an ongoing outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus spreading from Brazil risk having a baby with the birth defect microcephaly, according to the results of a new study. In the study in the Lancet medical journal which analyzed a 2013-14 Zika outbreak in French Polynesia, researchers said the risk of microcephaly is about 1 for every 100 women infected with the virus during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Cuba reports first case of Zika contracted in the country

(Reuters) Cuba's Health Ministry on Tuesday reported the first case of Zika contracted in the country, in a 21-year-old woman living in central Havana and who had not been overseas. Cuba's four previous cases of Zika all involved people who had contracted the virus while abroad.

California National Primate Research Center to begin experiments on Zika virus

(The California Aggie) UC Davis’ California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) will commence its study on the effects of the Zika virus on primates on March 16. Led by virologist Dr. Koen Van Rompay, the research team will work toward discovering the developmental impacts of Zika virus and eventually test potential vaccines.


March 15, 2016

HK researchers develop quick, cheap virus test

(Xinhua News Service) Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have developed a rapid and cheap virus detection test, local media reported on Monday. The process takes around two-to-three hours -- a tenth of the time taken by traditional clinical methods. It is also cheaper, costing around 80 percent less than existing tests.

Commission dedicates €10m to Zika research

(Pan European Networks) The European Commission will dedicate 10 million Euros from its Horizon 2020 budget to research on the Zika virus currently ravaging Latin America. The money will go towards proving the link between Zika and the severe brain malformations found in newborns first suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO). If proven, researchers will then be able to move on to combatting the virus, including developing diagnostics and testing potential treatments or vaccines.

Shots for other viruses offer clues in race for Zika vaccine

(Associated Press) Scientists are racing to create a Zika vaccine, and while they're starting from scratch against a poorly understood disease, copying shots for similar viruses offers a head start.

Argentina reports chikungunya outbreak

(Outbreak News Today) During the first eight weeks of 2016, Argentina health officials are reporting the first chikungunya outbreak in the country as more than 1,000 cases have been recorded.

El uso de un pez, estrategia contra el mosquito transmisor del zika en México (A fish may provide a strategy to fight the Zika virus in Mexico)

(EFE) Las larvas y los huevos de los animales acuáticos constituyen la alimentación básica del pez Gambusia y por ello una organización no gubernamental ha comenzado a emplear en México esta especie para frenar el avance del mosquito transmisor del virus del zika.Con la ayuda de las autoridades de salud estatales, la organización Operación Bendición reparte ejemplares de este pez entre las familias de las zonas más vulnerables ante la propagación de esta enfermedad, que podría extenderse ante la inminente llegada de la temporada de lluvias.

Larvae and eggs of aquatic animals constitute the basic diet of the Gambusia fish, so a non-governmental organization in Mexico has started to use the fish to stop the spread of the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus. With the help of state health authorities, Operation Blessing organization distributes fish in the areas most susceptible to the disease, which could become more widespread with the arrival of the rainy season.

Parlamento del Mercosur aprueba protocolo de actuación contra Aedes aegypti (The Mercosur Parliament has approved a plan of action against the Aedes aegypti)

(EFE) El Parlamento del Mercosur (Parlasur) aprobó durante su primera sesión ordinaria del año la aplicación de un protocolo regional de actuación para combatir la propagación de algunas enfermedades que transmite el mosquito Aedes aegypti, como el zika, el dengue o el chikunguña.

The Mercosur Parliament, meeting in its first regular session of the year, approved the implementation of a regional plan to combat the spread of some diseases transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, including Zika, dengue and chikungunya.

Briefing paper: Summit on the Aedes aegypti Crisis in the Americas

(Entomology Agenda) The Entomological Society of America (ESA) and Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil (SEB) are hosting a critically new entomological summit with participation from leaders throughout the Americas. The purpose of this summit will be to explore how, as societies, we can marshal our collective entomological expertise to address mosquito-borne disease in the Americas.


March 14, 2016

No change in confirmed Zika virus cases in Bexar County

(San Antonio Express-News) San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District confirmed Friday that it’s investigating 26 suspected cases of the Zika virus in Bexar County, which reflects four new possible cases reported this week. Six suspected cases came back negative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a report on the Metro Health website.

Mosquitoes' rapid spread poses threat beyond Zika

(Reuters) As the world focuses on Zika's rapid advance in the Americas, experts warn the virus that originated in Africa is just one of a growing number of continent-jumping diseases carried by mosquitoes threatening swathes of humanity.

Mayo Clinic Begins Development of Zika Virus Vaccine

(Mayo Clinic) Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group will begin work on developing a vaccine to protect against the Zika virus, according to Mayo vaccinologist Gregory Poland, M.D.

CDC: Travel OK to high-elevation cities in Zika countries

(Associated Press) The U.S. government revised its Zika travel warnings Friday, saying it's OK for pregnant women to travel to Mexico City and other places at high elevation in outbreak regions. The kind of mosquito that spreads the Zika virus is rare at higher elevations because of the lack of humidity and other conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Confirman primera muerte por Guillain-Barré en Honduras desde que hay zika (First death from Guillain-Barré reported in Honduras since start of Zika outbtreak)

(EFE) Las autoridades sanitarias de Honduras confirmaron hoy la primera muerte en el país a causa del síndrome Guillain-Barré, desde que inició el contagio de zika, virus que se sospecha puede estar relacionado con este trastorno. (Health authorities in Honduras today confirmed the first death in the country because of Guillain-Barre syndrome since the outbreak of Zika. The virus may be related to this disorder.)

Water and sanitation likely to be best answer to Zika virus, say UN experts

(United Nations News) Improving water and sanitation services may be the best answer to addressing the outbreak of the Zika virus, according to United Nations human rights experts, who stress that such critical factors should not be in the shadow of hi-tech solutions being considered.

Could the Zika virus hit the northern hemisphere?

(Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) In Brazil, scientists who study insects have convened an emergency session to discuss the mosquito that carries the Zika virus, which some scientists fear may show up in the northern hemisphere. The CBC's Kim Brunhuber reports.

Concerns Over the Zika Virus Grow Across the Nation

(ABC News video) Nearly 200 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in 31 states.


March 11, 2016

2 US servicemembers back on duty in S. America after recovering from Zika virus

(Associated Press) Two members of the U.S. military were diagnosed with the Zika virus, but have recovered and are back on duty, the top U.S. military commander for South America said Thursday.

Brazil giving $2.8 million for Zika research

(Associated Press) Brazil's health minister said Thursday that the country's top biomedical research institute is getting $2.8 million to fund studies aimed at combatting the Zika virus.

Nearly 200 cases of Zika in US; officials press for funds

(Associated Press) Nearly 200 cases of Zika infection have been reported in the U.S. - all traced to travel abroad. Health officials released the numbers Thursday, and pleaded for Congress to provide $1.9 billion to fight the virus in Latin America and help prevent it from spreading to the continental U.S.

Zika virus disease in the United States, 2015–2016

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Map of reported Zika cases in the United States.

Nearly half of Americans mistakenly think Zika is fatal

(ArsTechnica) In a recent phone survey, 42 percent of Americans reported thinking that people infected with the Zika virus were likely to die from the infection. The survey, conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that despite massive news coverage of the ongoing outbreaks, critical information about the virus is not being clearly conveyed.

Zika: ‘The more we learn, the worse things seem to get’

(Washington Post) The top U.S. health officials leading the response to the mosquito-borne Zika virus sweeping through the hemisphere said its growing links to a broad array of birth defects and neurological disorders are worse than they originally suspected, increasing the risk for devastating harm during pregnancy.

Bill would fastrack Zika vaccine production

A bill adding Zika to the list of diseases eligible for vouchers cleared a committee Wednesday and is headed to the U.S. Senate floor.

FDA wants to know more about St. Paul firm's plan for Zika virus test

Amid growing international demand for rapid Zika testing, the Food and Drug Administration wants to know more about a Minnesota company’s plans to sell a service to test for the virus in human lab samples. MD Biosciences in St. Paul received a letter from the FDA on Wednesday night saying the company’s new rapid assay for Zika virus appears to be a “high risk test” that has not been approved by the agency.

Puerto Rico may face 100,000 Zika cases by year's end: CDC

(AFP) Puerto Rico may be on the brink of a massive outbreak of Zika, a mosquito-borne virus which has been linked to birth defects, and cash is urgently needed, warned US health authorities have warned. Tom Frieden, the chief of the US Centers for Disease Control, told reporters on a conference call that he had just returned from a visit to the US territory, and was worried about what he had seen.


March 10, 2016

(University Star, Texas State University) Officials at Texas blood donation centers have created stricter policies for donating in response to worldwide outbreaks of the Zika virus.

Another neurological disorder tied to Zika

(United Press International) The list of neurological disorders potentially associated with the Zika virus continues to grow, health officials reported Wednesday.  Writing in the Wednesday online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, French researchers described the case of an unidentified 81-year-old man who had been in fine health before becoming feverish and then comatose while on a cruise in the South Pacific. An MRI scan and a test of spinal fluid indicated he was suffering from meningoencephalitis, an infection and swelling of the brain.

Failure of mosquito spraying to stop dengue raises questions for battle against Zika

(Associated Press) The World Health Organization says that traditional insecticide spraying has had no significant impact in slowing dengue, raising major questions about how officials might stop the spread of the Zika virus, also spread by mosquitoes.

Lubbock Health Department creates Spring Break Zika awareness pamphlets

(KCBD-TV) With Spring Break coming up, the City of Lubbock Health Department is taking local action to make sure travelers are aware of the precautions they should take. Their main goal right now is distributing this information on college campuses before students leave for Spring Break.

Scientists Discuss Vaccines, Other Weapons in Zika Fight

(VOA) International scientists and experts meeting at the World Health Organization agree on the urgency of developing vaccines and diagnostic tools to combat the Zika virus, which is being linked to microcephaly, a brain disorder in newborn babies. The three-day consultation is the first time experts in the fields of virology, immunology and related fields have come together to take stock of the state of Zika research and development and to see how product development can be accelerated.

El Salvador reports 9,000 Zika cases, International mission visits

(Outbreak News Today) A multidisciplinary group of experts convened by the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) is in El Salvador this week to exchange experiences and support national efforts to respond to the Zika virus outbreak in the country.

Zika Vaccine Still Years Away, W.H.O. Says

(New York Times, via MSN) More than 60 research institutes and companies are working on products to combat the spread of the Zika virus, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, but a vaccine is likely to take years to develop and may come too late for the outbreak now sweeping across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Zika Virus hits Travis County

(Community Impact) Two people in Travis County have tested positive for the Zika virus as of March 3, according to Philip Huang, Medical Director for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department. Huang spoke about the Zika virus before the Austin Health and Human Services Committee, March 9. He said 29 Travis County residents are awaiting the results of Zika virus tests, 18 of whom are pregnant.


March 9, 2016

CDC director warns of Zika crisis during Puerto Rico visit

(Associated Press) The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Tuesday that the Zika crisis gripping Puerto Rico is likely to accelerate without quick action and said his agency is helping the U.S. territory find insecticides best-suited to the fight mosquito-borne disease.

WHO: Sexual transmission of Zika more common than thought

(USA Today) Sexual transmission of Zika is more common than previously thought, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. But scientists still have unanswered questions about the first mosquito-borne disease known to spread through sex, including how long it lasts in semen.

Scientists Report In Real Time On Challenging Zika Research

(NPR) Anyone can follow the pregnancy of a monkey infected with Zika virus in real time, thanks to an experiment in data sharing that's unusual for biology. Researchers in Wisconsin injected Zika virus into a pregnant rhesus macaque monkey on Monday, to start exploring how this virus can affect the brain of a developing fetus. Over the course of the coming weeks, the team will be posting the infected monkey's ultrasounds and blood tests, as well as other data such as the amount of virus in the amniotic fluid.

Un organismo internacional contribuirá a esterilizar el mosquito transmisor del zika (An international organization is working to help sterilize the mosquito that carries Zika)

El Organismo Internacional de Energía Atómica (OIEA) intensificará su ayuda para combatir el virus del zika en América latina, entre lo que se incluye la esterilización del mosquito Aedes aegypti, anunció en Viena el director general de la agencia nuclear de Naciones Unidas, Yukiya Amano.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has in has intensified its work on fighting the Zika virus in Latin America, including sterilization of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the director general of the United Nations’ nuclear agency, Yukina Amano, said Tuesday.

U.S. warns of massive Zika outbreak among pregnant women in Puerto Rico

(EFE) U.S. health authorities on Tuesday warned that in the coming months thousands of pregnant Puerto Ricans will contract the Zika virus if appropriate measures are not taken on the island, where at present there are 157 confirmed cases, of whom 14 are pregnant women. The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, said that thousands of pregnant women could be infected with Zika in Puerto Rico.

W.H.O. Advises Pregnant Women to Avoid Areas Where Zika Is Spreading

(New York Times) The World Health Organization advised pregnant women on Tuesday to avoid travel to areas where the Zika virus is spreading. Experts on the organization’s Zika emergency committee also recommended that pregnant women and their partners who have been in areas with Zika rely on abstinence or safe sex to prevent sexual transmission of the virus.

Zika's Link to Birth Defects, Nerve Disease 'Alarming', WHO Says

(NBC) Evidence the Zika virus is causing severe birth defects and a paralyzing nerve disease is "alarming", the World Health Organization says, and officials should not wait for absolute proof to take action.


March 8, 2016

Zika vaccine possible 'within months'

(BBC) Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hopes to start testing a DNA vaccine by September. About 100 Americans have been diagnosed with Zika after returning from affected countries. Scientists at the institute helped develop a vaccine for Ebola.

A new breed of bacteria-laden mosquitoes can help control Zika

(The Health Site) A new breed of mosquitoes laden with bacteria has proven capable of controlling the spread of dengue fever and the Zika virus, said Vietnam’s health officials on Monday.

HHS ships blood products to Puerto Rico in response to Zika outbreak

(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today announced that it is arranging and funding shipments of blood products from the continental United States to Puerto Rico to ensure an adequate supply of safe blood for island residents as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico experiences active mosquito-borne Zika transmission.  The first batch of blood products arrived in Puerto Rico on Saturday, March 5.

Suman 143 casos confirmados de zika en México (Mexico is reporting 143 confirmed cases of Zika virus infections)

(La Prensa, Spanish only) Los casos de personas infectadas por el virus del Zika aumentan en México. En una semana pasaron de 121 casos a 143 en nueve estados del país, entre los que hay 20 mujeres embarazadas, quienes son monitoreadas para descartar que sus bebés nazcan con microcefalia.

(The number of reported cases of Zika virus infections in Mexico has risen from 121 to 143 in the last week. The cases are spread across nine states. Among the confirmed cases are 20 pregnant women who are being monitored to see if their babies are born with microcephaly.)

WHO reconvenes Zika panel; Philippines has possible local spread

(Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota) The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that it has convened its Zika virus emergency committee for the second time, with the group meeting tomorrow to review the quickly evolving scientific developments related to suspected birth defects and neurologic complications. Meanwhile, a 3-day WHO-led Zika virus countermeasure meeting began in Geneva this week, and health officials in the Philippines are investigating possible local spread of the virus.

 

March 7, 2016

(NBC Dallas-Fort Worth) The Texas Department of State Health Services is warning "it's only a matter of time" before mosquitoes in Texas begin transmitting the Zika virus. Fighting them will take a different approach than the battle against West Nile virus, officials say.
 

(USA Today) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will lay out battle plans against Zika next month at a one-day summit with state and local officials ahead of the virus' anticipated arrival in the USA.
 

(OSH Online) Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will visit Puerto Rico during March 7-9 to assess in person CDC's support for the Zika response there. As of March 3, 103 cases of Zika virus infection in Puerto Rico residents had been reported to ArboNET, a surveillance system managed by CDC and state health departments, and public health experts fear the outbreak could result in hundreds of thousands of infected people in Puerto Rico during 2016 based on past experience with dengue and chikungunya, which are transmitted by the same mosquitoes, according to CDC.

(San Jose Mercury-News) As the number of Zika virus cases in the U.S. grows by the week, teams of Bay Area researchers are working furiously against the clock to develop tests to detect Zika in the blood supply that about 5 million Americans rely on each year for lifesaving transfusions.

(Reuters) BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Monday a dose of its experimental antiviral drug improved survival rates in mice infected with the Zika virus in a preclinical study.

(Associated Press) An American woman who visited the Philippines in January has tested positive for the Zika virus in the United States, the Philippines' top health official said Sunday.
 

(Associated Press) Researchers report that the Zika virus may be linked to a wider variety of "grave outcomes" for developing babies than previously reported — threats that can come at any stage of pregnancy. The findings released Friday are preliminary results from the first study tracking pregnant women in Brazil from the time they were infected, and do not prove that Zika is to blame. But they come as separate laboratory research released Friday strengthens the case that Zika causes a serious birth defect called microcephaly — babies born with abnormally small heads — by targeting embryonic brain cells.
 

March 4, 2016

(PBS Newshour) With the outbreak of the Zika virus growing across the Americas, scientists are working on new ways to try to stop its spread by targeting the insects that carry the virus, mosquitoes. One idea centers on altering mosquitoes so they will declare war on other mosquitoes.

(Associated Press) Google said Thursday that a half dozen of its engineers are working to help Brazil track the Zika virus and the mosquito that spreads it by doing one of the things the search engine giant does best: write algorithms.

(HealthDay News) Healthy newborns of women who traveled in an area affected by the Zika virus within two weeks of delivery, or whose mothers show signs of Zika infection, should be checked for infection, federal health officials said Friday. The latest guidance comes from experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it’s based on research indicating that Zika can be passed from mother to child during delivery.
 

March 3, 2016

(NPR) Republican representatives continue to question the need for about $2 billion in emergency funding requested by the Obama administration to respond to the Zika virus. Congressmen including Dr. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, asked in a hearing of an Energy and Commerce subcommittee Wednesday whether funds earmarked for combating the Ebola virus couldn't be transferred to the fight against Zika virus.

(AFP) Brazil has confirmed 641 cases of microcephaly and 139 babies with the birth defect who have died since the Zika virus outbreak started in October, the Health Ministry said. The latest figure was up 10 percent over the number of microcephaly cases reported by the ministry last week.

(Associated Press) Canada is advising women who want to get pregnant to wait at least two months after visiting countries where the Zika virus is circulating — or could be circulating — before trying to conceive.
 

(MeetingsNet) Meeting and travel planners have a lot of questions about the mosquito-borne Zika virus, and unfortunately some of those questions are unanswerable right now.

(PR Newswire) In response to the recent spread of the Zika virus, RTI International is launching of series of initiatives to help world leaders combat this health crisis. RTI is funding four studies in Latin American to better understand the effects of Zika on pregnant women and which trimester a baby is most at risk; the long-term effects of the virus on babies and their families; how drones can be used for vector control activities of Zika-carrying mosquitos; and the public's understanding of the virus and how to prevent it.

(Latin Times) Scientists from Grupo Avance were not necessarily looking to find an Aedes aegypti mosquito repelling formula, but coincidentally they did. The team led by general manager and biochemist Mario Reyes told EFE they merged various projects and ended up with this useful combination.

América ya tiene más de 134.000 casos de zika sospechosos y 2.765 confirmados (The Americas have more than 134,000 suspected cases of Zika virus infection and 2,765 confirmed cases)

(EFE, Spanish only) El continente americano ya tiene más de 134.000 casos del virus zika sospechosos y 2.765 confirmados, la inmensa mayoría en Latinoamérica y el Caribe, aunque la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) considera que estos datos son conservadores, ya que el 80 % de los infectados no tienen síntomas.

(The American continent already has more than 134,000 cases of suspected Zika virus and 2,765 confirmed, the vast majority in Latin America and the Caribbean, although the Pan American Health Organization considers that these figures are conservative, since 80 percent of those infected have no symptoms.)

La preocupante resistencia del mosquito de zika a los insecticidas (The worrisome mosquito that carries the Zika virus is resistant to most insecticides)

(BBC Mundo, Spanish only) Los científicos advierten que el mosquito Aedes aegypti, que transmite el virus de zika, se está volviendo cada vez más resistente a los insecticidas tradicionales. Se están criando estos insectos en los laboratorios para determinar que agentes químicos se pueden utilizar para exterminarlos.

(Scientists warn that the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus, is becoming increasingly resistant to traditional insecticides. They are raising these insects in laboratories to determine which chemical agents can be used to control them.)

"El Zika es más grave que el dengue y el chikungunya": neurólogo Carlos Pardo
 
‘The Zika virus is more serious than dengue and chikungunya: Neurologist Carlos Pardo)

El neurólogo colombiano Carlos Pardo Villamizar, especialista en enfermedades inflamatorias del cerebro y director del Centro de Investigación en Mielitis de la Universidad Johns Hopkins, de Maryland, Estados Unidos, habló del  Proyecto Neuro Zika Colombia, que busca estudiar la epidemia de Zika en su propio terreno. También se refirió a la recién creada Red NEAS, o red de  análisis de neuroviruses emergentes en las Américas (Neurovirus Emergent in the Americas Study).

(Colombian neurologist Carlos Pardo Villamizar, a specialist in inflammatory diseases of the brain and director of the Myelitis Research Center at Johns Hopkins in Maryland, talked about Neuro Project Zika Colombia, which seeks to study the Zika epidemic on the ground. He also referred to the newly created NEAS Network, a network for virus emergencies in the Americas.)
 

March 2, 2016
 

(Associated Press) More than one in five people living in Puerto Rico will become infected with Zika virus, experts today warned. As the virus sweeps through the Americas, Puerto Rico has become America's front line in the battle against the disease. Home to 3.5 million US citizens, the territory has a tropical landscape that provides an ideal breeding ground for the Aedes mosquito that spreads Zika.

Factbox: Why the Zika virus is causing alarm

(Reuters) Global health officials are racing to better understand the Zika virus behind a major outbreak that began in Brazil last year and has since spread to many countries in the Americas. Reuters has prepared a series of questions and answers about the virus and current outbreak.

Timeline: Zika's origin and global spread

(Reuters) Reuters has prepared a timeline charting the origin and spread of the Zika virus from its discovery nearly 70 years ago.

El avance del zika centra una conferencia internacional en Miami (The spread of Zika at the center of international conference in Miami)

(EFE, full article in Spanish only) Funcionarios, especialistas en control de enfermedades e investigadores de 19 países participan en la VI Conferencia sobre Salud Global inaugurada hoy en Miami y dominada por el avance del virus del Zika, que ya está presente en más de una treintena de países.

(Officials, disease control specialists and researchers from 19 countries participated in the sixth Global Conference on Health, which opened today in Miami and was dominated by the advance of the Zika virus, which is already present in more than 30 countries.)

New FDA guidelines aim to prevent Zika transmission via tissue, cell donation

(Reuters) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued new recommendations aimed at reducing the risk of Zika virus transmission through donated human tissues and cells used in surgical or reproductive procedures, such as umbilical cord blood, corneas and heart valves.

Sex a bigger problem for Zika than first believed

(McClatchy DC) A dozen new Zika cases are raising worries that the virus may be more easily contracted through unprotected sex than originally believed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that they’re investigating 12 cases where the women’s only known exposure to the Zika virus was through sex with a male partner who had traveled to areas where Zika was active.

Colombia blames 3 deaths on Zika, nerve disorder

(AFP) Colombia said Friday that three people had died after contracting the Zika virus and developing a rare nerve disorder called Guillain-Barre, the first time health officials have directly blamed the mosquito-borne disease for causing deaths.

FDA Clears First Zika Diagnostic for Emergency Use

(Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday approved the first diagnostic to detect the Zika virus under its emergency use authorization (EUA) pathway, which allows the agency to authorize unapproved products during a public health emergency. The authorization is significant as there are currently no other approved diagnostics available to detect Zika.

March 1, 2016

U.S., Mexico health officials discuss Zika virus

(KRGV-TV) – Mexico and U.S. health officials met in McAllen to discuss ways to fight the Zika virus. The meeting took place at the McAllen Convention Center on Monday afternoon. Dr. Thompson with the Texas Department of Health and Human Service was present at the meeting. He shared information about Zika cases identified in the state.

Study: 1st evidence that Zika may cause temporary paralysis

(Associated Press) – Scientists may have the first evidence that Zika can cause temporary paralysis, according to a new study of patients who developed the rare condition during an outbreak of the virus in Tahiti two years ago. The World Health Organization declared the epidemic to be a global emergency several weeks ago based on suspicions it may be behind a surge in disturbing birth defects and in Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological illness that mostly lasts a few weeks.

February 29, 2016

CDC cautions pregnant women against travel to Rio Olympics

(Reuters) Pregnant women should consider not traveling to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil due to the risk of Zika virus infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. CDC also said women considering becoming pregnant, and their male partners, should exercise caution if they travel to the Olympics or Paralympic Games, scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro in August and September.

CDC says six confirmed and probable cases of Zika sexual transmission

(Reuters) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday reported six confirmed and probable cases of sexual transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus from male travelers to female non-travelers. The findings suggest that sexual transmission of the virus might be more common than previously reported, the CDC said.

CDC update: 147 Zika cases in U.S., new test for the virus

(CNN) There have been 107 cases of Zika virus among U.S. travelers returning from Zika-infected areas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. The CDC also reported 40 locally acquired cases of the virus in U.S. territories. Thirty-five are in Puerto Rico, four are in American Samoa, and one is in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Climate information may be key weapon in fight against Zika spread

(Reuters) In the Caribbean island state of Barbados, rainwater collection has been promoted as a way to boost scarce supplies of fresh water. But there's a catch: environmental health officers then reported an increase in mosquitoes breeding in household water storage tanks.

Honduras: Pregnant woman has Guillain-Barre, possibly Zika

(Associated Press) Health officials in Honduras say a 29-year-old pregnant woman showing symptoms of the Zika virus has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder that causes paralysis. Honduran authorities say it could be the first case in the Central American nation with both conditions.

Puerto Rico braces for wave of mosquito-borne Zika virus

(Associated Press) As the Zika virus sweeps through the hemisphere, Puerto Rico has become America's own front line in the battle against it — home to 3.5 million U.S. citizens and with a tropical landscape that is an ideal breeding ground for the mosquito that spreads Zika, as well as the dengue and chikungunya already common here.

Mosquito trap created in Toronto could help fight outbreak

(Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News) A new cheap and biodegradable mosquito trap invented in Toronto could be used to help slow the spread of the Zika virus around the globe. The trap was invented by Morgan and Jackson Wyatt, brothers from Brockville, Ont., who made waves on CBC's Dragon's Den last year with their biodegradable compost bins.

February 26, 2016

Health Departments Coming Together to Discuss Infectious Diseases

(KRGV-TV) EDINBURG, Texas — Local, state and Mexican health departments are coming together to discuss infectious diseases in a meeting that hasn’t taken place in over a year. Health officials are holding the meeting to find solutions to the Zika virus, and how to avoid it from crossing international lines.

El Paso short hundreds of blood donations due to Zika virus restrictions

(KFOX-TV) EL PASO, Texas – The borderland is short hundreds of blood donations due to new restrictions stemming from the Zika virus.  At least 20 people walk through the doors of the United Blood Services donation center during the day and hundreds more donate at mobile sites, according to a UBS spokesperson. But three weeks ago that all changed because health officials found the virus can be spread through blood transfusions. United Blood Services has now implemented a 28-day wait time from when donors return from affected countries, including Mexico.

Public Health Agency says 14 travel-related cases of Zika virus in Canada

(Metro News) TORONTO - The Public Health Agency of Canada is reporting 14 cases of Zika virus in the country. The latest confirmed case is in Saskatchewan and other cases have been confirmed in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. The agency said Thursday on its website that all of the cases are travel-related and the types of mosquitoes that transmit the virus are not found in Canada.

Is Brazil exaggerating the Zika crisis? Some experts think so

(The Age) MELBOURNE, Australia -- Often drowned out by the dire warnings and fear surrounding Zika, some medical professionals are saying that Brazil and international health officials have prematurely declared a link between the virus and what appears to be a surge in birth defects.

Zika virus hurting Canadian blood donations

(The Sun) CALGARY, Canada -- The Zika virus has emerged as another challenge in keeping Canada’s blood donor numbers healthy, say those overseeing donations. It’s a reality that’s come as Canadian Blood Services (CBS) launches a Facebook-like social media tool to reverse the erosion of donor numbers, said agency spokeswoman Susan Matsumoto.

There is 'promising pathway' for vaccine against Zika: Obama

(Reuters) WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama expressed optimism on Thursday about the possibilities for a vaccine against Zika, a virus he said turned out to be not especially complicated.

February 25, 2016

Zika may have been sexually transmitted in 14 cases: CDC

(Reuters) U.S. health officials are investigating 14 reports of the Zika virus that may been transmitted through sex, including to several pregnant women, raising new questions about the role sexual transmission is playing in the growing outbreak.

Colombia reports 'probable' case of microcephaly in aborted fetus

(Reuters) Colombian health officials reported on Wednesday a "probable" case of microcephaly possibly linked to Zika, as the country closely watches potential impacts of the mosquito-borne virus. The country's National Health Institute said Zika virus was identified in the amniotic fluid surrounding a severely deformed and aborted fetus.

Zika outbreak will worsen before it gets better, WHO head says

(Reuters) The head of the World Health Organization warned Wednesday that the Zika outbreak would likely worsen before nations besieged by the mosquito-borne virus linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil see relief. Director-General Margaret Chan made the comments at the end of her two-day visit to Brazil, the country at the epicenter of the Zika crisis.

Austin blood center pursuing stricter donor rules because of Zika

(Austin American-Statesman) The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas said it is planning to put in place screening criteria for prospective donors that go beyond federal recommendations to protect the blood supply from sexual transmission of the Zika virus.

Air Force actively monitoring ongoing Zika virus infection

(U.S. Air Force) The Air Force is closely monitoring the emergence of Zika virus infection in the Americas, Oceania, and Africa to help inform and protect Airmen and their families. The Department of Health and Human Services, with its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is leading the U.S. response to the worldwide Zika outbreak with support from multiple other U.S. federal departments and agencies including Department of Defense.