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Zika - Information, FAQs and Research

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

CDC - Zika Virus - Case Counts in the US
https://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/united-states.html

CDC - Zika Virus - Timeline of "What's New"
http://www.cdc.gov/zika/whats-new.html

CDC Newsroom Releases
http://www.cdc.gov/media/archives.htm

Busting 10 Common Myths about the "Greatest Pandemic in History"

              

Spanish influenza ward at Camp Funston, Kansas. Credit: U.S. Army photographer Wikimedia

The 1918 flu did not come from Spain

scientificamerican.com - by Richard Gunderman - January 11, 2018

 . . . The 1918 flu pandemic has been a regular subject of speculation over the last century. Historians and scientists have advanced numerous hypotheses regarding its origin, spread and consequences. As a result, many of us harbor misconceptions about it.

By correcting these 10 myths, we can better understand what actually happened and learn how to prevent and mitigate such disasters in the future.

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Forty Years Later, Ebola Survivors are Still Making Antibodies to the Lethal Virus

           

Lab technician and Ebola survivor Sukato Mandzomba (front) worked with Peter Piot (back) in 1976 and again in 2016.  Heidi Larson

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Ebola Virus Neutralizing Antibodies Detectable in Survivors of theYambuku, Zaire Outbreak 40 Years after Infection

sciencemag.org - by Jon Cohen - December 14, 2017

Forty years after the first documented Ebola outbreak, some of the survivors still have antibodies against the virus, a new study reveals. The find bolsters the widely held assumption that Ebola survivors remain immune to the virus for life. The work may also help guide development of new medicines and clarify the long-term health consequences of an Ebola infection.

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U.S. Study Sheds Light on How Zika Causes Nerve Disorder

           

FILE PHOTO: An aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured on a leaf in San Jose, Costa Rica February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate/File Photo

CLICK HERE - STUDY - CDC - EID - Postmortem Findings in Patient with Guillain-Barré Syndrome and Zika Virus Infection

reuters.com - by Julie Steenhuysen - December 13, 2017

A new study sheds light on how the mosquito-borne Zika virus causes a rare neurological condition, and the findings could have implications for companies working on Zika vaccines, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday . . .

 . . . To study the nerve disorder, Dr. Tyler Sharp of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dengue Branch in San Juan and colleagues in Puerto Rico examined the rare case of a 78-year-old man from San Juan who had been infected with Zika in 2016, developed Guillain-Barre and subsequently died.

An autopsy showed inflammation and erosion of the protective sheath known as myelin in two nerves, but no evidence of the Zika virus in nerve cells.

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Bat Cave Solves Mystery of Deadly SARS Virus — and Suggests New Outbreak Could Occur

           

Researchers analysed strains of SARS virus circulating in horseshoe bats, such as this one (Rhinolophus sinicus), in a cave in Yunnan province, China.  Credit: Libiao Zhang/Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resource

Chinese scientists find all the genetic building blocks of SARS in a single population of horseshoe bats.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus

nature.com - by David Cyranoski - December 1, 2017

After a detective hunt across China, researchers chasing the origin of the deadly SARS virus have finally found their smoking gun. In a remote cave in Yunnan province, virologists have identified a single population of horseshoe bats that harbours virus strains with all the genetic building blocks of the one that jumped to humans in 2002, killing almost 800 people around the world. 

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Where Does the Ebola Virus Hide Between Outbreaks?

           

Photo by Steve Babuljak

ucsf.edu - by Samantha Ancona Esselmann, Samantha Hindle and Ben Mansky - October 24, 2017

Joe DeRisi, PhD, is a master detective of infectious diseases. No matter how obscure or complex, he says he’ll take on the challenge because “it could lead to new biology that we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.”

That's precisely what happened when he stumbled on a clue to cracking the decades-long search for the place – or creature – where the Ebola virus hides between deadly outbreaks. . . .

 . . . In 2009, DeRisi began studying an incurable disease that was killing reptiles raised in captivity, a disease that caused strange neurological symptoms ranging from vomiting to uncontrollable contortions. They found the culprit – a previously undescribed arenavirus – and uncovered something surprising: the Arenavirus’s glycoprotein, a viral “access badge” to the secure insides of a cell, actually belonged to the Ebola virus.

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India’s Rising Temperatures are Worsening Its Dengue Crisis

           

Cases of dengue have risen sharply in India.(Reuters/Paulo Whitaker)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Dengue burden in India: recent trends and importance of climatic parameters

CLICK HERE - Increasing probability of mortality during Indian heat waves

qz.com - by Priyanka Vora - November 2, 2017

Even as several parts of India are in the grip of severe dengue outbreaks, a team of researchers has found clues to why the mosquito-borne disease might be spreading across the country faster than before. The answer lies in increased temperatures, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances.

A rise in temperature results in a shorter “extrinsic incubation period” or EIP, which is the time required for the virus to develop in the mosquito, the study by scientists from Hyderabad, Guwahati, and Liverpool shows. A shorter incubation period leads to higher transmission rates of dengue infection in a community, the authors said.

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Climate Change Isn’t Just Hurting the Planet – It’s a Public Health Emergency

           

‘Local air pollution around the world kills about 6.5 million people annually.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Doctors have revealed that millions are already suffering the effects, in the spread of infectious diseases, uneven crop yields and longer allergy seasons

CLICK HERE - STUDY - The Lancet - Health and climate change - The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: from 25 years of inaction to a global transformation for public health

theguardian.com - by Christiana Figueres - October 31, 2017

A report just published in the Lancet from the specially created Lancet Countdown initiative, reveals just how bad climate change is for public health. The diagnosis reveals that hundreds of millions of people are already suffering the health impacts of climate change. Its insidious creep is being felt in multiple ways: rising temperatures are hastening the spread of infectious diseases; crop yields are becoming uneven and unpredictable, worsening the hunger and malnourishment for some of the most vulnerable people on the planet; allergy seasons are getting longer; and at times it is simply too hot for farmers to work in the fields.

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Is It Possible to Predict the Next Pandemic?

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse

           

A livestock market in India - Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Large initiatives are underway to pinpoint the next big viral threats—but some virologists believe the task is too hard.

theatlantic.com - by Ed Yong - October 25, 2017

It’s been two years since an epidemic of Zika began in Brazil, three since the largest Ebola outbreak in history erupted in West Africa, eight since a pandemic of H1N1 flu swept the world, and almost a hundred since a different H1N1 flu pandemic killed 50 million people worldwide. Those viruses were all known, but no one knew when or where they’d trigger epidemics. Other diseases, like SARS, MERS, and HIV, emerged out of the blue.

Sick of being perpetually caught off guard, some scientists want to fully catalogue all viral threats, and predict which are likely to cause tomorrow’s outbreaks.

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