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Informal briefing by the Secretary-General on the United Nations' New Approach to Cholera in Haiti

webtv.un.org - 1 Dec 2016

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today apologized to the people of Haiti, expressing deep regret for the loss of life and suffering caused by the country’s cholera epidemic, and outlined the way forward including immediate steps to stem the outbreak and long-term support for those affected – while also highlighting the need for adequate funding of the proposal.

CLICK HERE - United Nations News Centre - UN’s Ban apologizes to people of Haiti, outlines new plan to fight cholera epidemic and help communities

CLICK HERE - Secretary-General's remarks to the General Assembly on a New Approach to Address Cholera in Haiti [Trilingual version, as delivered] [scroll down for English]

CLICK HERE - United Nations General Assembly - A new approach to cholera in Haiti - Report by the Secretary-General (16 page .PDF report)

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Haiti: UN’s New Approach on Cholera Puts People at Heart of the Response

submitted by John Carroll

                                         

un.org

30 November 2016 – The response to cholera in Haiti will be a “long and thorough battle,” but the United Nations will stand by the Haitian people and authorities, Stéphane Dujarric, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, on the eve of the launch of the Organization's new approach to tackling the epidemic in the country.

The new approach was announced last August and will be launched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, 1 December. It includes rapid interventions in areas where cases are reported and the prevention of future high-risk public health crises.

The new approach on cholera also focuses on people and proposes the establishment of a program of material assistance and support to Haitians directly affected by the disease.

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Zika in Fetal Brain Tissue Responds to a Popular Antibiotic

Infection of developing human brain with the Zika virus (green) highlights susceptibility of radial glial cells during fetal development. Image by Elizabeth Di Lullo

CLICK HERE - STUDY - PNAS - Zika virus cell tropism in the developing human brain and inhibition by azithromycin

ucsf.edu - by Laura Kurtzman - November 29, 2016

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 . . .

 . . . In the new study, published online Nov. 29, 2016, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the UCSF researchers determined that the Zika virus preferentially infects brain cells with an abundance of a protein called AXL, which spans the outer cell membrane of several cell types and serves as a gateway for the invading virus . . . 

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Texas Reports First Case of Zika Spread by Local Mosquitoes

                                                                  

CLICK HERE - Texas Department of State Health Services - Texas Announces Local Zika Virus Case in Rio Grande Valley

reuters.com - by Julie Steenhuysen - November 28, 2016

Texas health officials on Monday reported the state's first case of Zika likely spread by local mosquitoes, making Texas the second state within the continental United States to report local transmission of the virus that has been linked to birth defects.

The case involved a woman living in Cameron County near the Mexico border who is not pregnant, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

Pregnancy is the biggest concern with Zika because the virus can cause severe, life-long birth defects, including microcephaly, in which a child is born with an abnormally small head, a sign its brain has stopped growing normally . . .

 . . . In adults, Zika infections have also been linked to a rare neurological syndrome known as Guillain-Barre, as well as other neurological disorders.

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Microcephaly Found in Babies of Zika-Infected Mothers Months After Birth

           

A 1-year-old child, one of the patients in a new study, showed clear signs of microcephaly, but also had good eye contact. Credit van der Linden V, Pessoa A, et al. MMWR: 11.22.2016

nytimes.com - by Pam Belluck - November 22, 2016

It is the news that doctors and families in the heart of Zika territory had feared: Some babies not born with the unusually small heads that are the most severe hallmark of brain damage as a result of the virus have developed the condition, called microcephaly, as they have grown older.

The findings were reported in a study of 13 babies in Brazil that was published Tuesday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. At birth, none of the babies had heads small enough to receive a diagnosis of microcephaly, but months later, 11 of them did . . . 

 . . . The new study echoes another published this fall, in which three babies were found to have microcephaly later in their first year.

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The New Debate Over Bed Nets

           

A mother and her 7-month-old daughter sit beneath a mosquito net at a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.  Roberto Schmidt /AFP/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Implications of insecticide resistance for malaria vector control (4 page .PDF file)

npr.org - by Jason Beaubien - November 22, 2016

. . . "there's growing evidence that mosquitoes are developing resistance to the insecticide used in the nets.

Now the World Health Organization has just completed a 5-year, 5-country study looking into whether nets might be becoming less effective."

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Zika Virus Can Live for Hours on Hard, Non-Porous Surfaces

           

Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of Zika virus. Credit: Cynthia Goldsmith/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

sciencedaily.com - American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists - November 15, 2016

Research being presented today at the 2016 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientist (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition, which is taking place Nov. 13 -17 in Denver, found that under certain conditions, the Zika virus can live for several hours on hard non-porous surfaces and still be highly contagious, but that some commonly used disinfectants are extremely effective in killing the virus. The research may have important infection control implications for both consumers and those who work in healthcare or lab settings.

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ALSO SEE SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

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Antibody Might Protect Fetus From Zika, Study Finds

           

A researcher holds a tray of Zika virus growing in cells at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. No treatments exist to block Zika virus in a pregnant woman from infecting her fetus and potentially causing severe birth defects. But now, researchers report that they have identified a human antibody that prevents -- in pregnant mice -- the fetus from becoming infected and damage to the placenta. The antibody also protects adult mice from Zika disease.  Photo: Huy Mach

CLICK HERE - Nature - Neutralizing human antibodies prevent Zika virus replication and fetal disease in mice

nbcnews.com - by Maggie Fox - November 7, 2016

Researchers reported two steps toward fighting the Zika virus Monday — one from a team that has found a potential way to protect unborn babies from the virus, and a second from a team that announced the start of human trials of a new vaccine.

Neither offers immediate relief against the epidemic of Zika that has swept across the Americas and the Caribbean and parts of Asia, but they both provide hope of eventually being able to protect pregnant women and their babies from the infection.

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How Ebola Adapted to Us

Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from an infected cell. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

Image: Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from an infected cell. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

theatlantic.com - November 3rd 2016 - Ed Yong

In December 2013, in a small village in Guinea, the Ebola virus left its traditional host—probably a bat—and infected a young boy. That leap triggered what became the largest Ebola outbreak in history. At first, the virus stayed within Guinea’s borders and, as in every previous epidemic, affected just a few hundred people.

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Vaccinating Against Dengue May Increase Zika Outbreaks

Mosquito vector Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Credit: NIAID

CLICK HERE - Implication of vaccination against dengue for Zika outbreak

yfile.news.yorku.ca - October 31, 2016

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

The research identifies a potentially serious public health concern. More than a third of the world’s population lives in areas where dengue is endemic and cases of co-infection with Zika have already been reported.

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