Florida health officials recently reported a new locally acquired Zika infection in Miami-Dade County and 4 new travel-related cases in South Florida, raising the total number of Zika cases for 2017 to 29 people.
The Zika Foundation Blog
With 6 travel-related Zika cases already reported, Maryland officials are starting to gear up efforts for a new outbreak of the Zika virus. With researchers tying the mosquito-borne virus to potentially deadly heart problems, adult Zika patients must now see a cardiologist.
Researchers’ structural analysis of ZIKA NS5, a unique protein to the virus, reveals a potential binding site in the protein for an inhibitor, making it an ideal target for for anti-viral drug development.
The CDC guides men from South Florida, including Broward and Palm Beach counties, to refrain from donating sperm because they are at greater risk of spreading Zika.
So far, 29 travel-related cases of Zika have been registered in Utah, 11 of these cases have been pregnant women.
Palpitation followed by shortness of breath and fatigue were symptoms of heart problems in 8 of 9 patients in Venezuela within 2 weeks of having Zika-type symptoms.
Researchers found that during the first trimester of gestation the placenta produces genes encoding proteins which the Zika virus finds a favorable biological environment for infection.
Researchers will soon begin the 2nd phase of human clinical trials for a DNA vaccine candidate for Zika. 3½ months from design to injection is warp speed, but it’s easy to move very quickly with DNA vaccines.
Caribbean travelers – the vast majority by cruise ship – were the primary means of introducing the 2016 Zika outbreak in South Florida. Researchers also confirmed that decreases in the Aedes aegypti population from pesticide spraying corresponded with a subsequent drop in new reported Zika cases.
Zika-related birth defects were seen in about 3 out of every 1,000 births during 2013-2014 compared to 60 out of every 1,000 completed pregnancies where the mother tested positive for a Zika infection.
Collier County reported its 1st new Zika case of 2017 and Miami-Dade reported 3 new local transmissions.
5% of travelers who visited travel medicine clinics in British Columbia through Quebec from Oct. 2015 to Sept. 2016 sick with the Zika had a neurological condition including Guillain Barre.
Researchers found that the Zika virus appears to create disorganization in the cellular layers of the placenta that keep toxins, bacteria and viruses from crossing, potentially allowing the virus to penetrate the fetus.
The first vaccine to be approved for clinical trials by the U.S. is now undergoing human trials in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The vaccine has the potential to also protect the male reproductive organ, preserving fertility and restricting testicular damage.
Research shows that the Asian lineage Zika virus halted the proliferation of brain stem cells and hindered their ability to develop into brain nerve cells. The Zika infection was mainly found in glial cells, which provide support and insulation for the brain.
The medians and 95th percentiles for the time until the loss of detectable Zika virus RNA detection were 14 days and 54 days, respectively, whereas 90% of patients infected with dengue viruses clear RNA within 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
The FDA authorized Abbott’s molecular test to detect Zika virus in whole blood, which may detect the virus for a longer period (up to 2 months) and provide results within 5 to 7 hours. Plus, the test can distinguish Zika from other viruses.
The Zika virus vaccines market is estimated to generate $14,500M in 2017 and to reach $18,697M by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 5.2%. About 1.6 million individuals are infected with Zika virus, and the number is exponentially increasing.
Zika is able to cross the placental barrier and infect cells that line blood vessel walls by latching onto the protein on the cells’ surface. Researchers showed that the antibodies that bind to the AXL protein prevented Zika from entering cells.
Spillback of Zika virus into monkeys in South America has already started, potentially making it nearly impossible to get rid of the Zika virus.
Babies diagnosed with CZS continue to struggle in NE Brazil. As a result, many families held off pregnancy. The birthrate in Pernambuco, which includes Recife, fell 7% last year as 70% of Recife’s inhabitants contracted Zika in 2015 and 2016. The birthrate dropped 45% at private clinics.
Since 2015, 48 countries and territories in the Americas have confirmed Zika transmission through mosquitoes. Community education and participation of eliminating mosquito vectors and breeding sites are crucial tools in the long-term fight against Zika.
A premature baby with Microcephaly died during childbirth last November in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The diagnosis showed traces of the Zika virus in the amniotic fluid.
A total of 57 Zika cases were reported in the the Philippines as of February 2nd. Cleanliness and the destruction of potential breeding sites is key against the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.
When Zika virus infects dendritic cells, it blocks a critical set of innate immune signaling proteins that rally anitviral troops. However, RLR signaling is left intact and could be a target for immunity-boosting therapies.
A new Zika candidate vaccine uses tiny modified strands of RNA that hold the genetic codes for making viral proteins so that they can easily enter cells, inducing a level of virus neutralization ~25 times greater after a single dose than standard vaccines.
$25M in grants have been awarded to 10 universities and research institutions in Florida to speed up development of a Zika vaccine, devise new testing methods and study the long-term impacts of the mosquito-borne virus.
Vietnam faces risk of endemic transmission as Zika infections rise over the past month. This news comes as the number of global infections continues to rise. WHO warns that vigilance worldwide must remain high.
Brain images of 200+ developing fetuses indicates that Zika can cause significant brain damage even in babies without Microcephaly. Simple head measurements are not enough to diagnosis congenital Zika syndrome.
The PAHO and WHO recently released a Zika-Epidemiological Update that summarizes the situation for the Americas, including North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.
There were 439 travel-related cases of Zika as of mid January across Canada. 2 cases involved congenital Zika syndrome from maternal-fetal transmission. Travel to Mexico accounted for many of the cases.
30 babies whose mothers tested positive for Zika virus or Flavivirus are being monitored in Connecticut. 2 babies have Zika-related birth defects and 9 were considered borderline. 9 pregnancies are also being monitored.
Health professionals, journalists, etc. should oppose the use of culturally antagonistic memes that cloud public understanding of the Zika health threat. Agencies should quickly disseminate health info in cases like Zika, where public sensibilities are largely unformed.
A new MIA detects Zika in blood in less than 4 hours and for a longer period of time after infection and reduces the instances of false positives. A quicker diagnosis helps authorities locate new Zika hot spots and control mosquito populations sooner.
The 1st Zika virus infection of a pregnant Texas woman was recently confirmed. In November, the resident traveled to Brownsville where there were locally acquired Zika infections from mosquitoes.
New findings show that the Zika virus (ZIKV) effects more than 500 genes/proteins present in developing brain cells and explain some of the consequences seen on brain formation and function.
Michiganders headed south on vacation are being warned that Zika is still a major health threat. Pregnant women or couples planning to become pregnant should not travel to places where Zika-carrying mosquitoes are active.
A woman in Fresno County recently contracted Zika through sexual transmission, stressing the need for men to wait at least 6 months and women to wait at least 8 weeks before attempting a pregnancy after traveling to active Zika areas.
The antimicrobial Nanchangmycin was identified as a potent inhibitor of Zika virus entry across all cell types tested, including the endothelial and placental cells that are relevant to how Zika may enter the fetus.
Treatment of human retinal pigment epithelial cells with three drugs – obatoclax, saliphenylhalamide & gemcitabine – prevented synthesis of Zika viral building blocks and production of new viruses at concentrations that are not toxic to cells.
S. Korea has confirmed another case of Zika, bringing the total to 18. The woman was bitten by an infected mosquito during a trip to the Philippines.
The first 2 cases of Zika have been reported in Angola, just three months after a yellow fever epidemic killed 400 people.
At least 6 Zika vaccine candidates are in development within the US. Researchers hope to move to Phase 2 in February. One way to speed up development is to conduct a separate vaccine trial that contains live virus. A decision on such a controversial trial, which would come with more recruiting difficulty, could come come […]
A new method of controlling mosquitoes, nuclear-based sterile insect technique, uses ionizing radiation to sterilize insects so when they mate with wild insects they don’t produce offspring. A big challenge is to find practical methods for the “sexing” of mosquitoes to remove females from being released into the wild.
Thousands of Brazilian parents are struggling as they learn to care for brain-damaged babies. The lack of child disability payments, child brain specialists and psychological support are some of the hardships families face.
A picture of the rash on the 1st person reported to have locally-acquired Zika in the US has been released to the public. The woman was 5 months pregnant at the time. Her infant showed no signs of birth defects and tested negative for the virus. Both Mom and baby are being followed by doctors.
Researchers found two new disease-carrying mosquito species, Aedeomyia squamipennis and Culex panocossa, in Florida. Environmental changes may be making Florida more hospitable to tropical mosquitoes.
The immature form of the Zika virus plays a role in virus infection. Researchers learned the position of the capsid protein, which plays the critical role of recognizing the virus’s genetic material and acts as a chaperone to guide these RNA strands into the virus for assembly. Researchers also found a “partially ordered capsid protein […]
The Zika virus has been detected in several Vietnam localities. Zika infections have been on the rise recently in southern Ho Chi Minh City with over 200 cases.
The bioagent transport and environmental modeling system TIGER model and ArcGIS were used to analyze factors influencing potentially Zika-infected Aedes species, should they enter through ports. Surveillance sites at ports should be identified and prioritized to reduce the import of mosquitoes infected with Zika virus.