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Foreign nationals from Ebola-affected countries can stay 6 more months

The Obama administration said Tuesday it will allow foreign nationals from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa to stay in the U.S. for another six months, even though global health officials said the outbreak that killed 11,000 people abroad is officially over.

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Study Finds Multiple Problems In Fetuses Exposed To Zika Virus

submitted by John Carroll

          

A woman who is six months pregnant shows a photo of her ultrasound at the IMIP hospital in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil, on Wednesday. Scientists are trying to figure out how Zika virus may be affecting fetuses.  Felipe Dana/AP

CLICK HERE - NEJM - Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro — Preliminary Report

npr.com - by Rob Stein - March 4, 2016

The Zika virus has sparked international alarm largely because of fears that the pathogen is causing microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with unusually small heads and damaged brains.

But the preliminary results of a study released Friday suggest Zika can also cause other potentially grave complications for fetuses carried by women who get infected while they are pregnant.

"There seems to be a whole spectrum of conditions that are related to this — not only microcephaly," says Karin Nielsen-Saines, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA who led the study.

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Fetus of Venezuelan Woman Who Likely Had Zika Dies; Had Microcephaly: Doctors

reuters.com - by ALEXANDRA ULMER AND CORINA PONS - March 4, 2016

A fetus whose mother likely had the Zika virus suffered the rare congenital defect known as microcephaly and ultimately died, doctors said on Friday, in the first Venezuelan case linking the infection to damage in babies.

The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to thousands of suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil, and a recent study has suggested the virus may be associated with stillbirths.

The World Health Organization declared Zika an international health emergency on Feb. 1, citing a "strongly suspected" relationship between Zika infection in pregnancy and microcephaly, a condition in which an infant's head is markedly smaller than those of other babies of similar age and gender.

Public health officials say that link is growing stronger with new evidence, but expect it could take years to prove a connection.

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CLICK HERE - Zika First Trimester Infection Linked To Microcephaly Maturín Venezuela

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House Committee Hearing on Zika Virus - Examining the U.S. Public Health Response to the Zika Virus

energycommerce.house.gov - March 2, 2016

The House Committee hearing on Zika virus - Examining the U.S. Public Health Response to the Zika Virus

The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at 10:15 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn House Office Building, entitled “Examining the U.S. Public Health Response to the Zika Virus.” The Subcommittee heard testimony on the spread of the Zika virus across the Americas, the potential link between Zika and other illnesses, including microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), and the public health plan to respond to the virus both in the United States and internationally.

https://energycommerce.house.gov/hearings-and-votes/hearings/examining-us-public-health-response-zika-virus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtdWumDEx0U

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How People Learn to Become Resilient

Perception is key to resilience: Do you conceptualize an event as traumatic, or as a chance to learn and grow? CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY GIZEM VURAL

Image: Perception is key to resilience: Do you conceptualize an event as traumatic, or as a chance to learn and grow? CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY GIZEM VURAL

newyorker.com - February 11th 2016 - Maria Konnikova

Norman Garmezy, a developmental psychologist and clinician at the University of Minnesota, met thousands of children in his four decades of research. But one boy in particular stuck with him. He was nine years old, with an alcoholic mother and an absent father. 

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Global Response to the Zika Virus - Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner

c-span.org - host - Steve Scully - February 28, 2016

Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner talked about the global response to the Zika virus outbreak and the public health risk posed by the virus.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?404988-5/washington-journal-dr-gavin-macgregorskinner-zika-virus-outbreak

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The Link Between Zika and Climate Change

           

Miriam Araujo holds her son Lucas, who was born with microcephaly, in Sao Jose dos Cordeiros, Brazil.

Researchers are beginning to tease out the environmental factors that play a role in helping the virus to spread.

theatlantic.com - by Greg Mercer - February 24, 2016

Last year, a team of researchers made a surprising discovery: Aedis aegypti mosquitoes—the species that spreads West Nile Virus, dengue, chickungunya and, most recently, Zika—were living year-round in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. In a paper published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the researchers wrote that the mosquitoes had been living in the area since at least 2011, biting and reproducing in the summer months and likely riding out the winter underground. Previously, scientists had believed that the mosquitoes couldn’t survive year-round anyplace north of South Carolina.

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Zika Virus Linked to Paralysis Disorder in U.S., CDC Says

          

Aedes mosquitoes can transmit Zika virus as well as dengue and other diseases. Now, the CDC says it may be connected to Guillain-Barré, a rare condition that can cause paralysis.  ISTOCKPHOTO

There are two cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome linked to Zika in the U.S., the CDC says

time.com - by Alexandra Sifferlin - February 18, 2016

Two confirmed cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome linked to the Zika virus have been reported in the U.S., health authorities told TIME on Thursday.

The link between Zika and the birth defect microcephaly has received much attention. But health experts are also concerned about the link between the virus and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a condition where the immune system starts attacking the body’s nerves, which leads to weakness that can eventually result in temporary paralysis. In some cases, the disorder can interfere with breathing.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed to TIME that there have been two cases of GBS in the U.S. in people who also tested positive for Zika virus.

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Social Progress Index 2015

socialprogressimperative.org

CLICK HERE - Social Progress Index 2015 (158 page .PDF report)

MEASURING NATIONAL PROGRESS – To truly advance social progress, we must learn to measure it, comprehensively and rigorously. The Social Progress Index offers a rich framework for measuring the multiple dimensions of social progress, benchmarking success, and catalyzing greater human wellbeing. The 2015 version of the Social Progress Index has improved upon the 2014 version through generous feedback from many observers and covers an expanded number of countries with 52 indicators.

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CLICK HERE - Publications

http://www.socialprogressimperative.org

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Zika Virus May Hide in Organs Protected from the Immune System

         

A health worker fumigates as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, at the cemetery of Presbitero Maestro in Lima, Peru, February 12, 2016.  Reuters/Mariana Bazo

reuters.com - by Julie Steenhuysen - February 16, 2016

The Zika virus may be particularly adept at entrenching itself in parts of the body that are shielded from the immune system, making it harder to fight off and possibly lengthening the timeframe in which it can be transmitted, top U.S. experts said on Friday.

Researchers reported that Zika virus can be detected in semen for 62 days after a person is infected, adding to evidence of the virus’s presence in fetal brain tissue, placenta and amniotic fluid. Their work is part of an international race to understand the risks associated with Zika, a rapidly spreading mosquito-borne virus thought to be linked to thousands of cases of birth defects in Brazil.

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CLICK HERE - CDC - Emerging Infectious Diseases - Detection of Zika Virus in Semen

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