What you need to know about Zika virus

Follow me at @JohnRossMD Last week, the government of El Salvador gave what might be the strangest public health advice of all time: don’t get pregnant for the next two years. Officials in Colombia, Ecuador, and Jamaica have also warned women to avoid pregnancy, although only for the next several months. The reason for these unusual recommendations? An outbreak of Zika virus, currently raging in 21 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Samoa, and Cape Verde. Until recently, Zika was an obscure virus, confined to equatorial Africa and Asia, and known only to specialists in tropical medicine. It was discovered in 1947, when scientists studying yellow fever in the Zika Forest of Uganda stumbled on a previously unknown virus in a feverish rhesus monkey. In 1958, it was shown that Zika is primarily spread by the bite of the Aedes mosquito. (Zika can also be sexually transmitted.) The current Zika pandemic began in 2007, when the virus mysteriously appeared in Yap, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. By 2013, Zika had spread to French Polynesia, an archipelago 5,000 miles away. Over the following year, it spread throughout much of Polynesia, including Easter Island. In early 2015, doctors identified Zika as the cause of an outbreak in the Brazilian state of Bahia. Zika might have arrived in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup, or during the 2014 world championships of Polynesian outrigger canoe racing,...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Children's Health Family Planning and Pregnancy Infectious diseases Prevention Safety Source Type: news

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Abbott Laboratories has been wildly successful with its FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitor (CGM) since winning FDA approval in 2017, but it seems some investors and patients may be getting restless as the U.S. market waits for the second-generation of the blockbuster technology. We first noted some signs of impatience for Libre 2 in our coverage of Abbott's third-quarter earnings call in October. One reader commented on that article that "I don’t particularly care about investors becoming impatient, as a Freestyle Libre user I am growing impatie...
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