Countries that have past or current evidence of Zica virus transmission (as of October 2015)
Southern Hemisphere 11/28/15 reuters.com: by Jeb Blount – A link between a form of fetal brain damage and the mosquito-born zica virus has been confirmed by Brazilian health authorities on Saturday. The link between zica, first medically identified as a new disease half a century ago, and birth defects has never been made. The virus, endemic in parts Africa, South America, Southeast Asia and some Pacific Islands, has until now been blamed for symptoms such as fever, mild headache, skin rashes, joint pain and conjunctivitis, or “red eye.” Initial analysis shows that the virus can be passed to a fetus and that the fetus is at greatest risk from the virus during the first three months of pregnancy, the statements said. More tests and studies are needed to clarify the exact method of transmission and infection, the statement added. A surge in recent months of babies born with microcephaly, or an unnaturally small brain, in Brazil’s northeast, led authorities to suspect the virus may have more sinister effects than previously recorded, the ministry said. Microcephalic children can suffer developmental and intellectual difficulties that limit intelligence and muscle coordination for life. – For complete article see http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/28/brazil-health-zica-idUSL1N13N0NH20151128#UFwrroY1uFTMGM0x.97
Zica Virus Transmission:
Zica Virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses. These mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases. They are aggressive daytime biters, prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people. These mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases. They are aggressive daytime biters, prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people.
A mother already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth, but this is rare. To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found. In theory, Zika virus could be spread through blood transfusion. To date, there are no known reports of this happening. There has been one report of possible spread of the virus through sexual contact.
Symptoms and Treatment:
About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika). The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Deaths due to Zika have not been reported. The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, which are diseases caused by other viruses spread by the same type of mosquitoes.There is neither a vaccine to prevent nor a medicine to treat Zika
Pennsylvania 11/28/15 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – Pennsylvania continues to lead the nation in Lyme disease cases as the Commonwealth through Nov. 27 has reported more than 10,000 cases, about one-third of all cases in the US that have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (31,479). This compares to 7,400 cases in 2014 and 5,900 in 2013. In April, Pennsylvania health officials reported for the first time the presence of the Lyme vector, the blacklegged (deer) tick, in all 67 counties. Lyme disease is a huge problem in the US and Pennsylvania, both medically and financially. Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne illness in the United States. The CDC estimates 329,000 cases occur in the United States each year. CDC studies have found that reported cases of Lyme disease underestimate its true incidence by a factor of ten, indicating that tens of thousands of residents in the commonwealth may be infected with Lyme disease each year. In addition, over $1 billion in annual medical expenses in the United States have been attributed to Lyme disease as well as up to $10,000 per patient annually in lost productivity. Lyme disease patients required 87 percent more visits to the doctor, and 71 percent more visits to the emergency room in comparison with those without Lyme disease. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/pennsylvania-lyme-disease-cases-top-10000/