Obama Asks for $1.8 Billion in Emergency Zika Funding

           

Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease and Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speak with reporters during a press briefing about the Zika virus at the White House in Washington February 8, 2016  REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

CLICK HERE - The White House - FACT SHEET: Preparing for and Responding to the Zika Virus at Home and Abroad

CLICK HERE - CDC Emergency Operations Center moves to highest level of activation for Zika response

reuters.com - by Roberta Rampton and Ben Hirschler - February 8, 2016

President Barack Obama will ask the U.S. Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funds to fight Zika at home and abroad and pursue a vaccine, the White House said on Monday, but he added there is no reason to panic over the mosquito-borne virus.

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Africa's Population Will Quadruple by 2100. What Does That Mean for its Cities?

          

Don't worry, African cities can cope. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)

New population figures paint a difficult picture for African cities. But there's more to the story than sheer numbers.

CLICK HERE - World population stabilization unlikely this century

CLICK HERE - State of African Cities 2014 , Re-imagining sustainable urban transitions

citylab.com - by Sam Sturgis - September 19, 2014

Numbers continue to stack up against the world’s poorest continent.

Global population levels are expected to increase from a current figure of 7.2 billion to nearly 11 billion by 2100, according to figures released . . . by the U.N. Previously, it was believed the world’s population would peak at around 9.5 billion. Nearly all of this new growth, meanwhile, will occur in Africa, which is expected to quadruple in size.

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Thousands of Civilians Reported Fleeing as Battle for Aleppo, Syria, Intensifies

           

Fierce fighting in Aleppo forces thousands to flee

Innocent civilians 'running for their lives' - A sense of panic among those fleeing

cnn.com by - Nick Paton Walsh and Don Melvin - February 5, 2016

(CNN) The battle for the devastated city of Aleppo -- once Syria's commercial heart -- is intensifying, and video has surfaced appearing to show thousands of civilians streaming out of the city. . . .

. . . But the latest video appears to show a sense of panic among the thousands of people streaming out of the city, fleeing for their lives -- bound, most probably, for the Turkish border, 60 miles (97 kilometers) to the north.

. . . And from there, they will push onward, perhaps, to Europe, which is experiencing one of the most significant waves of migration in recent decades.

A United Nations official, citing U.N. estimates made for emergency relief planning, told CNN that 321,000 civilians are thought to be in a rebel-held area east of Aleppo.

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Zika - Information, FAQs and Research

An expanding list of information resources on Zika virus . . .

WHO - Microcephaly / Zika virus
http://www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/en/

WHO - Zika virus
http://www.who.int/topics/zika/en/

WHO - Zika Virus infection - Disease Outbreak News
http://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/disease/zika-virus-infection/en/

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Zika - News

WHO Says on Watch for Spread of Zika Virus to Africa, Asia

           

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen inside Oxitec laboratory in Campinas, Brazil, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Reuters - by Stephanie Nebehay - February 2, 2016

GENEVA, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The Zika virus linked to a microcephaly outbreak in Latin America could spread to Africa and Asia, and the World Health Organization will set up monitoring sites in the poorest countries with the highest birth rates, it said on Tuesday.

. . . ”Most important, we need to set up surveillance sites in low- and middle- income countries so that we can detect any change in the reporting patterns of microcephaly at an early stage," said Dr. Anthony Costello, WHO director for maternal, child and adolescent health.

A WHO global response unit "using all the lessons we've learned from the Ebola crisis" has been set up, he said. Some 20 to 30 'sentinel sites' for surveillance could be established worldwide, mainly in poor countries lacking robust health systems.

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Texas - First Confirmed Case of Sexually Transmitted Zika in U.S.

          

Dallas County Health and Human Services confirms its first case of Zika virus transmitted through sexual activity

CLICK HERE - Dallas County Health and Human Services - DCHHS Reports First Zika Virus Case in Dallas County Acquired Through Sexual Transmission (2 page .PDF file)

cnn.com - by Sandee LaMotte - February 2, 2016

The first case of locally acquired Zika in the continental United States has occurred through sexual transmission in Texas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The case, announced by Dallas County health officials, involved a patient who had sex with someone who had recently returned from Venezuela infected with the mosquito-borne virus.

In a statement to CNN, the CDC said it confirmed the test results showing Zika present in the blood of a "nontraveler in the continental United States." They stressed that there was no risk to a developing fetus in this instance.

Based on that, the CDC says it will soon provide guidance on sexual transmission, with a "focus on the male sexual partners of women who are or who may be pregnant."

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Zika Virus - WHO Declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

                                               

WHO Director-General summarizes the outcome of the Emergency Committee on Zika

who.int - February 1, 2016

WHO statement on the first meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations 

I convened an Emergency Committee, under the International Health Regulations, to gather advice on the severity of the health threat associated with the continuing spread of Zika virus disease in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Committee met today by teleconference.

In assessing the level of threat, the 18 experts and advisers looked in particular at the strong association, in time and place, between infection with the Zika virus and a rise in detected cases of congenital malformations and neurological complications.

The experts agreed that a causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not yet scientifically proven. All agreed on the urgent need to coordinate international efforts to investigate and understand this relationship better.

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Is the world ready for the Zika virus?

In the US, only five laboratories can diagnose the Zika virus — and a vaccine has not been developed

america.aljazeera.com - February 1, 2016

The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus and the suspected associated birth defects an international public health emergency. Experts say the numbers are a sign that global surveillance systems — important for medical response — are working. But with no vaccine available and only five laboratories that can diagnose the virus in the U.S., there is a long road ahead. In this America Tonight excerpt, Lisa Fletcher talks to public health experts [Gavin Macgregor-Skinner and Anthony Fauci] about the global health disaster we're now facing.

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/2016/2/is-the-world-ready-for-the-zika-virus.html

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Obama Calls for Rapid Zika Research as Virus Seen Spreading

           

A public health technician inspects an Aedes aegyti mosquito in a research lab to help prevent the spread of Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases at the entomology department of the Ministry of Public Health, in Guatemala City, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/JOSUE DECAVELE

uk.reuters.com - by Julie Steenhuysen and Roberta Rampton - January 27, 2016

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for the rapid development of tests, vaccines and treatments to fight the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects and could spread to the United States in warmer months. . . .

. . . "The president emphasized the need to accelerate research efforts to make available better diagnostic tests, to develop vaccines and therapeutics, and to ensure that all Americans have information about the Zika virus and steps they can take to better protect themselves from infection," the White House said in a statement. . . .

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WHO to convene an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations

                              

who.int - January 28, 2016

WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, will convene an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations.

The Committee will meet on Monday 1 February in Geneva to ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Decisions concerning the Committee’s membership and advice will be made public on WHO’s website.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW:

CLICK HERE -Reuters - WHO says Zika virus spreads explosively, 4 million cases forecast

CLICK HERE - The Washington Post - WHO: Zika virus ‘spreading explosively,’ level of alarm ‘extremely high’

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Did Brazil, Global Health Agencies Fumble Zika Response?

           

reuters.com - by Paulo Prada - January 30, 2016

. . . "We knew this was something else," says Carlos Brito, a doctor from Recife who told state and federal health authorities in January-February last year that they were wrong to classify all the cases as dengue. "But the authorities were slow to believe,” he said.

Kleber Luz, a physician in Natal, a city 300 km up the Atlantic coast, says he gave similar feedback but got the same response.

. . . "You have to gather the data," says Marcos Espinal, director of the department of communicable diseases at PAHO, dismissing criticism that the regional body or headquarters could have moved any sooner.

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Ebola - Sierra Leone

Zika Virus Threatens U.S. from Abroad

          

ZIKA, THE MOSQUITO-BORNE DISEASE LINKED TO A WORRISOME BIRTH DEFECT CALLED MICROCEPHALY AND ANOTHER AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, HAS BEEN BROUGHT BACK TO THE U.S. IN THE BLOODSTREAMS OF SOME 20-PLUS TRAVELERS SINCE 2007. THEY PICKED IT UP IN MORE THAN A DOZEN COUNTRIES, MOSTLY ACROSS SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA. ALTHOUGH THE TWO TYPES OF MOSQUITOES CAPABLE OF TRANSMITTING THE VIRUS ARE ALREADY IN THE U.S., SO FAR, THE VIRUS HAS NOT YET BEEN LOCALLY SPREAD HERE.  GRAPHIC BY AMANDA MONTAÑEZ

scientificamerican.com - by Dina Fine Maron - January 26, 2016

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Top Ten Most Dangerous Viruses in the World

submitted by George Hurlburt

          

dw.com - by Helena Schwar - January 26, 2016

Bird flu, Ebola and now Zika - there seems to be news on a new dangerous virus almost every day. But so far, experts are saying that Zika itself isn't as bad as HIV, Ebola and these other eight viruses.

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