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Can Zika Virus Damage an Infected Infant’s Brain After Birth?

           

Dr. Angela Rocha shows brain scans of a baby born with microcephaly at the Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in Recife, Brazil.  FELIPE DANA/AP

CLICK HERE - NEJM - Prolonged Shedding of Zika Virus Associated with Congenital Infection

CLICK HERE - Radiology - Congenital Brain Abnormalities and Zika Virus: What the Radiologist Can Expect to See Prenatally and Postnatally

statnews.com - by Helen Branswell - August 24, 2016

A new report from Brazil raises questions about whether the Zika virus can continue to damage an infected infant’s brain after birth.

An infant in Sao Paulo whose mother was infected late in her second trimester was born without any visible birth defects. But testing showed the baby had the Zika virus in his blood; the virus remained in his system for at least a couple of months.

At six months, it became apparent that the child had suffered Zika-related brain damage.

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How Likely Are You To Deal With A Zika Outbreak? Check This Map

huffingtonpost.com - August 15th 2016 - Anna Almendrala

Now that Zika virus is spreading locally in Florida, U.S. residents, and especially pregnant women, are growing alarmed at the risk that they may face in their own communities. 

A new map estimating the risk of local Zika spread around the globe shows a relatively small likelihood that most of North America and Northern Asia will be affected. By contrast, all the variables are in place for local spread in most of Africa, South and Southeast Asia. 

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Study Shows Extent of Brain Damage From Zika Infections

           

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

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Radiology - Congenital Brain Abnormalities and Zika Virus: What the Radiologist Can Expect to See Prenatally and Postnatally

reuters.com - Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Dan Grebler - August 23, 2016

A report released on Tuesday shows in graphic detail the kind of damage Zika infections can do to the developing brain - damage that goes well beyond the devastating birth defect known as microcephaly, in which the baby's head is smaller than normal.

The current Zika outbreak was first detected last year in Brazil, where the virus has been linked to more than 1,800 cases of microcephaly, which can cause severe developmental problems.

Prior research has shown the Zika virus attacks neural progenitor cells - a type of stem cell that develops into different types of nerve or brain cells.

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The Potential Zika Threat to Adult Brain Cells

           

Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Zika Virus Infects Neural Progenitors in the Adult Mouse Brain and Alters Proliferation

New research has found evidence the mosquito-borne virus can adversely affect cells necessary for replenishing damaged neurons.

theatlantic.com - by Marina Koren - August 19, 2016

Zika is understood to pose the greatest threat to pregnant women and their fetuses, which can be born with severe brain defects if infected with the mosquito-borne virus. But new research suggests Zika may damage adult brains, too, giving scientists another thread to follow in their attempts to understand the virus as the number of infections continues to rise in South America, the Caribbean, and elsewhere.

U.S. researchers have found evidence that a certain kind of brain cell present in newborns that remains in some amounts in adulthood can be susceptible to Zika infection, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

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The Mystery of Zika’s Path to the Placenta

A photograph of a baby wearing a diaper. Jerome Scholler / Shutterstock

Image: A photograph of a baby wearing a diaper. Jerome Scholler / Shutterstock

theatlantic.com - August 18th 2016 - Adrienne LaFrance

Among the many mysteries that have vexed scientists about the ongoing Zika epidemic is the question of how, in pregnant women, the virus manages to cross the maternal-fetal barrier.

A woman’s body is usually quite good at protecting her growing baby. There are biological blockades to prevent the transmission of viruses to a fetus through the bloodstream, by way of the placenta; the same path for the nutrients and oxygen that sustain a developing baby.

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U.S. Declares a Public Health Emergency in Puerto Rico in Response to Zika Outbreak

                                       

hhs.gov - August 12, 2016

HHS declares a public health emergency in Puerto Rico in response to Zika outbreak

Coordinating with the government of Puerto Rico to help combat the virus, which puts thousands of pregnant women at risk

August 12, 2016 – La Fortaleza and Washington D.C. – At the request of Governor Alejandro García Padilla, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today declared a public health emergency for Puerto Rico, signaling that the current spread of Zika virus poses a significant threat to public health in the Commonwealth relating to pregnant women and children born to pregnant women with Zika. The declaration is a tool that provides support to the government of Puerto Rico to address the outbreak on the island and underscores the public health risk of Zika, particularly to pregnant women and women of childbearing age.

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Zika - Current National Biocontainment Laboratories and Regional Biocontainment Laboratories

Zika virus is classified as biological safety level (BSL) 2 pathogen.

Revised diagnostic testing for Zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses in US Public Health Laboratories - February 7, 2016
(see page 2, of 6 page .PDF file)
https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/denvchikvzikv-testing-algorithm.pdf

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Puerto Rico Reports Elderly Victim Infected With Zika Dies

Associated Press - by Danica Coto - August 5, 2016

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Health officials announced Friday that an elderly person infected with Zika has died in Puerto Rico as the U.S. territory battles what federal authorities call a silent epidemic.

The victim was a 75-year-old man who was hospitalized and died from health ailments unrelated to Zika, according to Health Secretary Ana Rius. . . .

. . . The first Zika-related death was reported in late April and involved a 70-year-old man from the San Juan metro area. He suffered internal bleeding after developing a condition in which antibodies that formed in response to a Zika infection began attacking blood platelet cells. At the time, Rius said there were three other cases of the condition known as severe thrombocytopenia and that those patients recovered.

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(See additional supporting documentation within the links below)

CLICK HERE - Zika virus: first American dies of complications linked to disease

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NY1 Online: City Health Commissioner, Professor Talk Concerns About Zika Virus, Both at Rio Olympics and in US

           

CLICK HERE - VIDEO - NY1 Online: City Health Commissioner, Professor Talk Concerns About Zika Virus, Both at Rio Olympics and in US

ny1.com - by Inside City Hall - August 3, 2016

Errol Louis discussed concerns about the Zika virus, both at the Rio Olympics and here in the United States, with City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett and Columbia University Professor Stephen Morse.

 

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