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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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Climate Change Could Become a National Security Risk, Report Says

CLICK HERE - Office of the Director of National Intelligence - Implications for US National Security of Anticipated Climate Change

CLICK HERE - The White House - Presidential Memorandum - Climate Change and National Security

pbs.org - by Associated Press - September 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — A government report released Wednesday said climate change is likely to pose a significant national security challenge for the U.S. over the next two decades by heightening social and political tensions, threatening the stability of some countries and increasing risks to human health.

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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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Energy Secretary Moniz and Interior Secretary Jewell Announce New National Offshore Wind Strategy to Drive Deployment

CLICK HERE - NATIONAL OFFSHORE WIND STRATEGY: FACILITATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES

energy.gov - September 9, 2016

BOSTON - U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the publication of a collaborative strategic plan to continue accelerating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States, the National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, which could help enable 86 gigawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2050. The strategy details the current state of offshore wind in the United States, presents the actions and innovations needed to reduce deployment costs and timelines, and provides a roadmap to support the growth and success of the industry.

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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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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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As Zika Spreads In Asia, Study Shows Virus May Also Infect Adult Brain Cells

           

A new study demonstrates that Zika can affect adult brain cells in mice, suggesting that the effects of Zika could be bigger than currently presumed. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE - Cell Stem Cell - Zika Virus Infects Neural Progenitors in the Adult Mouse Brain and Alters Proliferation

CLICK HERE - Singapore - Minister of Health (MOH) - Sequencing of Zika Virus Strains From Sims Drive/ Aljunied Crescent Cluster

forbes.com - by Tim Chen - September 12, 2016

As concerns rise over the spread of the Zika virus in Southeast Asia, a new study from the Rockefeller University, published in Cell Stem Cell, found that the virus can also affect adult brain cells in mice — suggesting the potential for Zika to hold long-term neurological implications for adult humans.

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2.6 Billion People Could Be at Risk of Zika, Scientists Say

           

A pest control worker fumigates the grounds of a residential estate in the Bedok North area of Singapore on Sept. 1, 2016.  Roslan Rahman—AFP/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - Potential for Zika virus introduction and transmission in resource-limited countries in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region: a modelling study

time.com - by Maria Cheng - September 1, 2016

Scientists are trying to figure out where Zika might gain a future foothold

(LONDON) — Scientists trying to predict the future path of Zika say that 2.6 billion people living in parts of Asia and Africa could be at risk of infection, based on a new analysis of travel, climate and mosquito patterns in those regions.

Some of the most vulnerable countries include India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh, according to the research. . . .

. . . The study was published online Thursday in the journal, Lancet.

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WHO - Zika Causality Statement - 7 September 2016

                                                  

who.int - 7 September 2016

Zika virus infection: update on the evidence for a causal link to congenital brain abnormalities and Guillain-Barré syndrome

Update of WHO Statement published on 31 March 2016

Since 2013, an unexpected rise in the number of reported cases of the neurological disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome2 (GBS) in French Polynesia, Brazil and other countries in the Americas led specialists to infer a link with an ongoing outbreak of Zika virus infection. Reports of unexpected increases in cases of microcephaly in north-eastern Brazil also led to the suggestion of a link to Zika virus infection in late 2015. On 1 December 2015, PAHO/WHO published an alert regarding the implications for public health of the detection of neurological syndromes and congenital malformations in the context of epidemic transmission of Zika virus in Brazil. On 1 February 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the clusters of cases of microcephaly and neurological disorders occurring in areas with Zika virus transmission constituted a public health emergency of international concern.

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The Coming Trials of Generation Zika

           

An Aedes aegypti mosquito. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

We may see an increase in the incidence of mental illness, Parkinson’s and dementia.

wsj.com - by W. Ian Lipkin - September 6, 2016

Some four million children are born each year in the U.S., about half in areas where the mosquito species capable of carrying the Zika virus is found. If we assume that 3% of pregnant women in the U.S. will become infected over the next three years and at least 1% of children born to those mothers will be microcephalic, we can anticipate up to 20,000 microcephalic children. Humanitarian considerations aside, the estimated cost of caring for one such child over the course of his lifespan is $10 million.

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CLICK HERE - The White House - Letter From The President - Zika Virus - February 22, 2016

 

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Zika’s Persistence in the Eye May Play a Role in Spreading the Virus, Study Finds

           

Daniele Santos holds her baby Juan Pedro, who has microcephaly, on May 30 in Recife, Brazil. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE - Cell Reports - Zika Virus Infection in Mice Causes Panuveitis with Shedding of Virus in Tears

washingtonpost.com - by Lena H. Sun - September 6, 2016

Researchers have found that the Zika virus can live in eyes, and research in mice may help explain why some Zika patients develop eye disease, including a condition that can lead to permanent vision loss.

In a study published Tuesday in Cell Reports, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis describe the effect of Zika virus infections in the eyes of mouse fetuses, newborns and adults.

The study suggests that the eye could be a reservoir for the virus. Eye infection raises the possibility that people could become infected with Zika through contact with tears from infected people, they said.

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WHO Continues Zika Emergency Amid Virus Spread, Unanswered Questions

cidrap.umn.edu - by Lisa Schnirring  - September 2, 2016

WHO panel cites virus spread, research gaps
CLICK HERE - WHO - Fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) regarding microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus 

CDC funds for microcephaly, birth defects
CLICK HERE - CDC awards $2.4 million to five jurisdictions to fight Zika

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that its Zika emergency committee, which met yesterday, has recommended keeping the public health emergency in place, as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced $2.4 million in funding to help five of the nation's most populated cities detect and manage Zika-related birth defects.

CDC-Colombia effort, Singapore cases, brain cell infection
In other new Zika developments, the CDC announced a formal research collaboration with Colombia, Singapore reported more Zika cases, and researchers revealed possible differences in brain cell infections between the two Zika lineages.

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Study Finds Increase in Temporary Paralysis Accompanied Zika Outbreaks

           

Zulay Balza, right, recovering from Guillain-Barre syndrome in February at a hospital in Colombia. Ms. Balza did not show symptoms of the Zika virus; only one in five infected people do. Credit Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

CLICK HERE - NEJM - Zika Virus and the Guillain–Barré Syndrome — Case Series from Seven Countries

nytimes.com - by Catherine Saint Louis - August 31, 2016

In seven countries that recently experienced Zika outbreaks, there were also sharp increases in the numbers of people suffering from a form of temporary paralysis, researchers reported Wednesday.

The analysis, published online in The New England Journal of Medicine, adds to substantial evidence that Zika infections — even asymptomatic ones — may bring on a paralysis called Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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FSU Research Team Makes Zika Drug Breakthrough

submitted by Albert Gomez

           

Doctoral students Emily Lee, Yichen Cheng and Sarah Ogden played a key role in conducting Zika research in Professor Hengli Tang’s laboratory.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Nature Medicine - Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of Zika virus infection and induced neural cell death via a drug repurposing screen

news.fsu.edu - by Kathleen Haughney - August 29, 2016

A team of researchers from Florida State University, Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health has found existing drug compounds that can both stop Zika from replicating in the body and from damaging the crucial fetal brain cells that lead to birth defects in newborns.

One of the drugs is already on the market as a treatment for tapeworm. . . .

. . . Their work is outlined in an article published Monday by Nature Medicine.

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FDA Recommends Screening All Blood Donations for Zika

         

fda.gov - August 26, 2016

As a further safety measure against the emerging Zika virus outbreak, today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a revised guidance recommending universal testing of donated Whole Blood and blood components for Zika virus in the U.S. and its territories.

“There is still much uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of Zika virus transmission,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “At this time, the recommendation for testing the entire blood supply will help ensure that safe blood is available for all individuals who might need transfusion.”

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