r960-fb42ae0c04fadee3193f5158197a23c2.jpg


The Zika virus raged through 48 countries and territories in the Americas this year and was responsible for more than 4,700 cases in the U.S., according to new data.

The World Health Organization announced Friday that 532,000 suspected cases were found globally and 175,063 confirmed. In the U.S., 4,592 travel-associated cases were found in which someone got the virus while traveling to another country or territory and more than 200 cases locally spread in the U.S., as of Dec. 28, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus, which is primarily spread via mosquito bites and has been found to cause birth defects such as microcephaly, took health officials by surprise this year.

“No one could have imagined two years ago that our children would be affected by microcephaly as a result of this once-dormant villain,” said Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, a WHO branch.

The virus infected roughly 1,246 pregnant women in the continental U.S. and 2,701 in U.S. territories as of Dec. 13, according to the CDC. Puerto Rico was one territory hit hard by the virus, which spread to more than 33,000 people.

The Zika virus has been around for more than 50 years and flared up in Brazil in May 2015.

However, it wasn’t until this year that scientists definitively linked Zika to microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains.

The virus threw officials other curveballs, including that it could spread via sexual transmission. Five countries, including the U.S., reported cases of sexual transmission.

In South America, the virus raged through several large countries, with Brazil being the hardest hit among them.

Trump team announces inaugural parade participants

Also from the Washington Examiner

Trump transition officials released a list of 40 participants.

12/30/16 10:48 AM

In the U.S., only two states have reported local transmission most likely due to mosquito bites: Florida and Texas. Florida has had 210 cases, almost all centralized in Miami-Dade County, and Texas has had six cases in Brownsville near the Mexican border, CDC reported.

The CDC issued stern travel warnings for both locations, calling for pregnant women to avoid travel there if possible and warned that pregnant women who live in the affected places to take extra measures to protect themselves.

CDC Director Tom Frieden previously pointed to aerial spraying of insecticide and larvacide, which stops mosquitoes from breeding, in parts of Miami as helping to curb outbreaks there.

Frieden said Friday that Zika was one of the most arduous tasks the CDC had ever undertaken.

“Fighting Zika is the most complex epidemic response CDC has taken on, requiring expertise ranging from pregnancy and birth defects to mosquito control, from laboratory science to travel policy, from virology to communication science,” he said.

Could 2017 finally be the year of the Constitution?

Also from the Washington Examiner

Republicans could move in a more Trumpian direction.

12/30/16 10:40 AM

Now that the summer has passed, which is when mosquitoes thrive, experts are saying that Zika isn’t going away for good.

An expert panel from the WHO recently declared that the Zika emergency is over, and now response activities are being folded into “longer-term efforts in dection, prevention, and support,” a PAHO statement said.

Red-state tide could flood Minnesota

Top Story

That election near-miss in Minnesota illustrates how much the Great Lake Rust Belt has changed.

12/29/16 5:47 PM



Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply