Zika - News

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An expanding list of information resources on Zika virus . . .

CDC - Zika Virus - Timeline of "What's New"

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Miami-Dade County Health Department

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Ebola - West Africa

Congress Approves $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika

After nearly seven months of bickering and finger-pointing, Congress on Wednesday agreed to allocate $1.1 billion to help fight the spread and effects of the Zika virus.

The deal is part of a broader agreement to continue to fund the government after the fiscal year ends on Friday and the current budget expires.

It brings to an end a partisan fight that has had the unusual effect of delaying funding to deal with what all sides agree is a public health emergency.

Congress Stops Bickering And Approves $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika

Congress passes funding bill averting government shutdown

Congress clears stopgap spending bill, $1.1B to fight Zika

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WHO: Excessive Air Pollution Affects 92 Percent of People

CLICK HERE - WHO - Ambient air pollution: A global assessment of exposure and burden of disease

CLICK HERE - WHO - News Release - WHO releases country estimates on air pollution exposure and health impact

Associated Press - by Jamey Keaten - September 26, 2016

GENEVA (AP) — More than nine out of 10 people worldwide live in areas with excessive air pollution, contributing to problems like strokes, heart disease and lung cancer, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

The U.N. health agency said in a new report that 92 percent of people live in areas where air quality exceeds WHO limits, with southeast Asia, eastern Mediterranean and western Pacific regions hardest hit.

The country-by-country figures come from new satellite data over rural areas to complement traditional ground measurements of pollution, mostly in cities, in about 3,000 places worldwide.

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The U.S. is On Course to Miss Its Emissions Goals, and One Reason is Methane


Chinese President Xi Jinping (center), President Obama (right) and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon shake hands during a joint ratification of the Paris climate change agreement ceremony ahead of the G20 Summit at the West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou, China on Sept. 3. (EPA/How Hwee Young)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Nature Climate Change - Assessment of the climate commitments and additional mitigation policies of the United States

washingtonpost.com - by Chris Mooney - September 26, 2016

In recent months, the key story of international climate policy has been about how quickly countries will join the Paris agreement and cross the legal threshold to bring it into force. And as of now, that seems very close to happening.

As soon as it does, though, the question will shift. People will start asking not about which countries will join the deal and how quickly, but about whether any of these countries are on track to do what they’ve already said they would under the agreement — namely, hit their voluntarily pledged targets to cut their emissions.

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Syria Bombings Leave 1.75 Million Without Running Water in Aleppo


People inspect a water-filled hole at the site of an airstrike on the rebel-held Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood of Aleppo. Photograph: Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Unicef says children at risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases after two pumping stations left out of action

theguardian.com - September 24, 2016

Heavy bombardment of the rebel-held eastern area of Aleppo has left about 1.75 million people without running water, the United Nations has said.

Intense attacks on Friday prevented repairs to the city’s damaged Bab al-Nayrab pumping station, which supplies water to 250,000 people in the eastern parts of the city, according to the UN’s children’s agency, Unicef. 

In retaliation, the nearby Suleiman al-Halabi station, which pumps water to 1.5 million people in the west of Aleppo, was switched off, it said.



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Quest Diagnostics Launches Zika Antibody Test Created by CDC

healio.com - September 25, 2016

CLICK HERE - Quest Diagnostics - Zika Virus Infection - Important Testing Information

Quest Diagnostics announced a new antibody test service — based on the Zika immunoglobulin M antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed by the CDC — is available for the detection of infection associated with Zika virus, according to a news release.

The CDC licensed the test to Quest Diagnostics and other national reference laboratories to help combat Zika in the United States. Quest will offer access to Zika virus antibody and molecular laboratory test services through 2,300 service centers for people in the U.S., Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.


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A Fighter for Global Health: Who Will Be Next to Lead the WHO?

END OF TERM: Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO since 2007, will step down next year. Chan, here at a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, in 2015, is known for preferring consensus to confrontation. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The World Health Organization is preparing to select a new director general. It needs someone dynamic and politically astute to drive strategic reforms, say global health experts.

reuters.com - by Kate Kelland - September 23, 2016

. . . Chan’s low-key, consensual approach has held sway at the organisation for nearly a decade. . . .

. . . But as her second five-year spell at the top heads towards a close, numerous public health experts say consensus is no longer enough. In May, 10 influential global health specialists wrote to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), saying of the WHO: “Business as usual cannot continue; transformative leadership is called for.” The UN agency requires strategic reform, they said, and needs a bold new director general who can command the world stage. . . .

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Post-Ebola, West Africans Flock Back to Bushmeat, With Risk

submitted by Jeff Williams


FILE-In this file photo taken on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, Yaa Kyarewaa, await clients as she stands next to her makeshift bush meat shop at one of the largest local markets in Accra, Ghana. As the deadly outbreak of Ebola has subsided, people in several West African countries are flocking to eat bush meat again after restrictions were lifted on the consumption of wild animals like hedgehogs and cane rats. But some health experts call it a risky move. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson, File) 

Associated Press - by HILAIRE ZON and CARLEY PETESCH - September 21, 2016

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — As the deadly outbreak of Ebola has subsided, people in several West African countries are flocking to eat bushmeat again after restrictions were lifted on the consumption of wild animals like hedgehogs and cane rats. But some health experts call it a risky move.

Ivory Coast, which neighbors two of the three countries where Ebola killed more than 11,300 people since December 2013, lifted its ban on wild animal meat this month.

The meat of squirrel, deer, fruit bats and rats has long been a key source of protein for many in the region, but it is also a potential source of the Ebola virus.

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Culex Mosquitoes Do Not Transmit Zika Virus, Kansas State University Study Finds

Culex mosquitoes do not appear to transmit Zika virus, according to research at Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Culex Species Mosquitoes and Zika Virus

k-state.edu - September 22, 2016

A Biosecurity Research Institute study has found important results in the fight against Zika virus: Culex mosquitoes do not appear to transmit Zika virus.

Researchers at Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute studied Culex species mosquitoes from across the country, including Vero Beach in Florida, which is near Miami-Dade County where mosquitoes are spreading Zika virus. 

The research, "Culex species mosquitoes and Zika virus," appears in the journal Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases and involves researchers from Rutgers University, the University of Florida and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



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UN Suspends All Aid Convoy Movements in Syria After Airstrike


Aid is strewn across the floor in Urem al-Kubra, on the western outskirts of Aleppo, after Monday’s strike on a convoy of lorries. Photograph: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images

Red Cross president says attack on UN and Red Crescent convoy delivering supplies is unacceptable violation of international law

theguardian.com - by Haroon Siddique, Julian Borger and agencies - September 20, 2016

The United Nations has suspended aid convoys in Syria after an airstrike hit a fleet of trucks carrying food to a rebel-held area near Aleppo on Monday.

The UN humanitarian aid spokesman Jens Laerke said: “As an immediate security measure, other convoy movements in Syria have been suspended for the time being, pending further assessment of the security situation.” . . .

. . . The strike on a convoy of Syrian Red Crescent trucks carrying UN-supplied food was described by the International Committee of the Red Cross as a flagrant violation of international law. It took place as a week-old ceasefire brokered by Russia and the US collapsed amid a surge of Syrian government bombing.



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Zika: Scientists Warn of Global Microcephaly 'Epidemic' After Study Shows Strong Links to Virus

A baby with microcephaly at a rehabilitation centre in Recife, Brazil.  Reuters: Ueslei Marcelino

CLICK HERE - The Lancet Infectious Diseases - Association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in Brazil, January to May, 2016: preliminary report of a case-control study

abc.net.au - AFP - September 15, 2016

Scientists are warning that the world should prepare for a "global epidemic" of microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby's head is smaller than usual, as the Zika virus spreads to new countries.

Key points:

Researchers say microcephaly epidemic will spread to all countries with Zika

Scientists recommend Zika be added to list of congenital birth infections

Not all study babies with microcephaly had abnormalities show in brain scans

The warning comes after researchers in Brazil and Britain found further evidence to link the condition with Zika virus, a connection already widely accepted in medical circles.



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World Health Organisation Should Outsource Key Duties, Experts Say


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical staff tackle Ebola in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. The outbreak killed 11,000 people. Photograph: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

British Medical Journal report advises fundamental overhaul of the WHO to avoid loss of funding, warning it is at risk of repeating mistakes of the Ebola crisis

CLICK HERE - British Medical Journal - Outsourcing: how to reform WHO for the 21st century

theguardian.com - by Harriet Grant - September 12, 2016

Global public health experts have called for “fundamental and extensive reform” of the World Health Organisation (WHO) including major outsourcing of key activities, warning that the organisation is already at risk of repeating the mistakes it made in handling the Ebola crisis.

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What Doctors Learned From 42 Infants With Microcephaly


Infants born with microcephaly are held by mothers at a meeting for mothers of children with special needs in Recife, Brazil.  Mario Tama/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - CDC - Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) - Early Growth and Neurologic Outcomes of Infants with Probable Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome

npr.org - by Susan Brink - September 14, 2016

"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.



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