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C.D.C. and States Ponder Plans to Keep Ahead of Zika

CLICK HERE - Zika - CDC Draft Interim Response Plan (58 page .PDF report)

nytimes.com - by Sabrina Tavernise - June 21, 2016

. . . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week released a 58-page blueprint for what to do if a homegrown case of Zika surfaces.

The mosquito that carries the virus, the Aedes aegypti, is found mostly in the South and Southwest, and the C.D.C. says it is focusing much of its mosquito control effort on six states and one county most at risk: California, Texas, Florida, Hawaii, Arizona and Louisiana and Los Angeles county. As far as anyone knows, the mosquito in this country has neither picked Zika up nor started to spread it. But that could happen anytime, experts warn, especially now that hundreds of Americans have been infected with the virus while abroad. (The virus can also be sexually transmitted; the C.D.C. is planning for that, too.) . . .

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US - CDC: 6 Pregnancies in Zika-Infected Women Resulted in Birth Defects

CLICK HERE - CDC- Outcomes of Pregnancies with Laboratory Evidence of Possible Zika Virus Infection in the United States, 2016 - Pregnancy Outcomes in the United States and the District of Columbia

washingtonpost.com - by Lena H. Sun - June 16, 2016

Three women in the U.S. mainland infected with the Zika virus have delivered infants with birth defects and three others have lost or terminated pregnancies because their fetuses suffered brain damage from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

The agency said it was not providing details about where the births occurred to protect the privacy of the women and children affected by the mosquito-borne virus. The information released Thursday is the first time the agency has provided a total number of Zika-related birth defects since the start of the U.S. response earlier this year.

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Orlando Nightclub Shooting: Mass Casualties After Gunman Opens Fire

At least 50 people were killed and more than 50 others were wounded when a gunman opened fire and took hostages at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday morning.

The shooter, identified by several law enforcement sources as Omar Mateen, 29, was killed in a shootout with law enforcement after a three-hour siege.

The massacre — the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States — began when the gunman stormed the Pulse Nightclub about 2 a.m. ET with an AR-15 type rifle and a handgun, officials said.

CLICK HERE - Tampa Bay Times - LIVE - BREAKING COVERAGE OF THE PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA

CLICK HERE - NBC News

CLICK HERE - CNN - LIVE Blog

CLICK HERE - CNN - Timeline of Orlando nightclub shooting

CLICK HERE - The New York Times - Mass Shooting at Pulse Florida Nightclub: Live Updates

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U.S. to Send Rapid-Response Teams When Zika Hits Here

           

A mosquito is seen under a microscope at the Los Angeles County Vector Control District. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

washingtonpost.com - by Lena H. Sun - June 10, 2016

U.S. health officials plan to send a rapid-response team to any community on the mainland and in Hawaii where the mosquito-borne Zika virus begins to be transmitted locally — even if only a single case of infection is confirmed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is prepared to deploy experts to help state and local authorities in monitoring cases, performing laboratory tests and increasing mosquito control as part of a multilevel response plan. The teams of 10-15 people will go only if invited by the state.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Officials Preparing for Zika Virus to Spread in the U.S.

 

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A mysterious mental health disorder is afflicting Bhutanese refugees in America

Tek Mishra.

Image: Tek Mishra.

fusion.net - June 16th 2016 - Casey Tolan

When Tek Mishra visits the homes of the community’s older Bhutanese refugees, he gets a firsthand look at mental health issues usually hidden behind closed doors.

Sometimes it’s pain that runs through their body like a current. Or they’re paralyzed with fear of a new culture they don’t understand.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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27,000 Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells in Gulf of Mexico Ignored by Government, Industry

An older nearshore wellhead is shown off the coast of California in this undated photo. In state waters, California has resealed scores of its abandoned wells since the 1980s, but in federal waters, the official policy is out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Neither industry nor government checks for leaks at the more than 27,000 oil and gas wells abandoned in the Gulf of Mexico since the late 1940s. Abandoned wells are known sometimes to fail both on land and offshore. It happens so often that a technical term has been coined for the repair job: "re-abandonment."  Photo: California State Lands Commission / The Associated Press

nola.com - Associated Press - July 7, 2010

More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one -- not industry, not government -- is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows.

The oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising the prospect that many deteriorating sealing jobs are already failing.

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Mysterious Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak Stumps Disease Detectives in South Sudan

                                             

CLICK HERE - WHO - Disease Outbreak News - Haemorrhagic fever syndrome – South Sudan - 19 May 2016

npr.org - Michaeleen Doucleff - May 31, 2016

The last time, we heard about a "mysterious hemorrhagic fever" in a country, it was February 2014. The outbreak was in Guinea. And by the time doctors had pinpointed the culprit, Ebola was spiraling out of control in West Africa.

The situation in South Sudan today is a far cry from that in West Africa a few years ago. But it's still concerning, the World Health Organization said.

So far, there have been 51 cases — including 10 deaths — from an unknown disease in the northern part of South Sudan. The main symptoms of the disease are similar to those seen with Ebola: unexplained bleeding, fever, fatigue, headache and vomiting.

But the culprit definitely isn't Ebola.

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WHO Experts Say Zika May Cause Birth Defects in Thousands of Babies

                                                  

CLICK HERE - WHO - Defining the syndrome associated with congenital Zika virus infection

who.int - reuters.com - by Bill Berkrot - June 3, 2016

World Health Organization officials on Friday cautioned that "many thousands" of infants infected with Zika virus could suffer neurological abnormalities and said nations dealing with an outbreak need to watch for problems beyond the widely reported cases of microcephaly.

These include spasticity, seizures, irritability, feeding difficulties, eyesight problems and evidence of severe brain abnormalities.

Health officials had previously concluded that Zika infection in pregnant women was a cause of microcephaly in babies, a rare birth defect characterized by unusually small heads and potentially severe developmental problems. They now believe the range of potential neurological problems in infants could be much wider.

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DSHS Announces First Texas-Acquired Chikungunya Case

                          

dshs.state.tx.us - May 31, 2016

Recently reported case contracted in 2015 

The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed the first locally acquired case of chikungunya, a mosquito borne illness. A Cameron County resident got sick with the illness in November 2015 and was diagnosed with a lab test in January 2016. The case, however, was not reported to the local health department until last month. The investigation performed by the Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services determined the patient had not traveled, and the case was confirmed last week by testing at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chikungunya disease is a viral illness spread by mosquitoes and was first detected in travelers returning to Texas from areas with local transmission in 2014. All previous Texas residents who contracted the illness were infected while traveling abroad. Because this case was contracted more than six months ago and mosquito surveillance has not found chikungunya in local mosquitoes, the primary risk of infection remains related to travel. DSHS encourages people to protect themselves from mosquito bites at home and while traveling to stop the spread of chikungunya, Zika and West Nile virus.

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