The Impact Of Zika On Asian Countries May Be Graver Than We Thought

CHICAGO/BANGKOK (Reuters) ― Zika’s rampage last year in Brazil caused an explosion of infections and inflicted a crippling neurological defect on thousands of babies ― an effect never seen in a mosquito-borne virus. It also presented a mystery: why had a virus that had been little more than a footnote in the annals of infectious diseases taken such a devastating turn in the Americas? How had Africa and Asia, where Zika had quietly circulated for decades, escaped with no reports of major outbreaks or serious complications? Scientists initially theorized that Zika’s long tenure in Africa and Asia may have conferred widespread immunity. Or, perhaps older strains were less virulent than the one linked in Brazil to more than 2,100 cases of microcephaly, a birth defect characterized by arrested brain development. Now, amid outbreaks in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia, a much graver explanation is taking shape: perhaps the menace has been there all along but neurological complications simply escaped official notice. The question is driving several research teams, according to leading infectious disease experts and public health officials. The answer is immediately important for Asia, the region most affected by Zika after the Americas. Thailand has been hardest hit with more than 680 reported Zika infections this year, followed by Singapore with more than 450 and Vietnam with as many as 60. Much of the population lives in the so-called ...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news

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Conclusion: Our results are similar to those reported from the state of Veracruz, Mexico, in which out of 33 samples of urine of patients with GBS two had a positive RT-PCR for ZIKV. Simultaneous processing of serum, CSF, urine, and saliva by RT-PCR may increase the success of diagnosis of GBS associated to ZIKV. Introduction In April 2016, a report of Epidemiological Surveillance for Zika virus (ZIKV) disease in Mexico reported 93 autochthonous laboratory-confirmed cases, collected between November 2015 and February 2016, and distributed amongst eight states of the country (1). In these patients, clinical manifest...
Source: Frontiers in Neurology - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
In this study, we evaluated ATA as a potential antiviral drug against ZIKV replication. The antiviral activity of ATA against ZIKV replication in vitro showed median inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of 13.87 ± 1.09 μM and 33.33 ± 1.13 μM in Vero and A549 cells, respectively; without showing any cytotoxic effect in both cell lines (median cytotoxic concentration (CC50)> 1,000 μM). Moreover, ATA protected both cell types from ZIKV-induced cytopathic effect (CPE) and apoptosis in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. In addition, pre-treatment of Vero cells with ATA for up to 72 h also resulted...
Source: Frontiers in Microbiology - Category: Microbiology Source Type: research
Authors: Bonilla-Soto LA Abstract Phylogenetic studies suggest that ZIKV may have been introduced to Brazil, and therefore to the Americas, in 2014 during the World Spring Canoe Championship held in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Since then the virus has spread across Latin America, Caribbean, and North America. It seems clear that Aedes aegypti and, to a lesser extent, Aedes albopictus are the main vectors of the pathogen. ZIKV infection symptoms are similar to other flaviviruses such as a dengue infection and therefore can be easily confounded. Currently, the ZIKV maintains two life cycles. The first, and the origin...
Source: Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: P R Health Sci J Source Type: research
Zika virus’ status as a global health threat may officially be over, but the disease’s impact is far from contained.  The World Health Organization decided in November to end its designation of Zika virus as a public health emergency, but that doesn’t mean that Zika virus has disappeared, explained Dr. Carlos Pardo-Villamizar, a clinical neurologist with an expertise in infectious disorders at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Alongside pressing concerns about how to prevent a resurgence of the disease, health care systems in Brazil and other countries that saw births of babies infected with the disease in ute...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news
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, an...
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
The rapid spread of Zika virus through the Americas, together with the association of infection with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, have propelled this previously ignored virus into the limelight. What is this virus and where did it come from? History Zika virus was first identified in 1947 in a sentinel monkey that was being used to monitor for the presence of yellow fever virus in the Zika Forest of Uganda. At this time, cell lines were not available for studying viruses, so serum from the febrile monkey was inoculated intracerebrally into mice. All the mice became sick, and the virus isolated from thei...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
The rapid spread of Zika virus through the Americas, together with the association of infection with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, have propelled this previously ignored virus into the limelight. What is this virus and where did it come from? History Zika virus was first identified in 1947 in a sentinel monkey that was being used to monitor for the presence of yellow fever virus in the Zika Forest of Uganda. At this time cell lines were not available for studying viruses, so serum from the febrile monkey was inoculated intracerebrally into mice. All the mice became sick, and the virus isolated ...
Source: virology blog - Category: Virology Authors: Tags: Basic virology Information Brazil congenital defect Dengue flavivirus Guillain-Barré microcephaly mosquito vaccine viral viruses yellow fever virus Zika zika virus Source Type: blogs
A mosquito-borne virus that may have caused serious birth defects for thousands of babies in Brazil made its way to Puerto Rico by the end of last year, and experts are grappling with what this means -- if anything -- for North America. Zika has been characterized in the past as an annoying but generally harmless sickness, with symptoms like rash, fever, joint-pain and red eyes. In fact, about one in four who get infected with disease probably don't even notice they have it. But when the virus became widespread in Brazil in 2015, with an estimated 500,000 to 1.5 million residents contracting Zika, health officials noticed ...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news
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