"The Florida health department said on Wednesday it was investigating another two cases of #Zika not related to travel to a place where the virus is being transmitted, raising the possibility of local Zika transmission in the continental United States." #ZikaVirus #contagion
"Florida epidemiologists have ruled out travel as a possible source for two #Zika infections — one in Miami-Dade and one in Broward — suspected of being the nation’s first cases transmitted by local mosquitoes,... state health officials reported six new Zika infections on Tuesday, raising the statewide total to 364 people affected this year,..." #ZikaVirus #contagion
"Babies with brains damaged by the #Zika virus might still appear normal, a large study of Brazilian babies shows.... Prof Cesar Victora, a researcher from the Universidade Federal de Pelotas in Brazil, said: 'One in five definite or probable Zika cases had head circumference values in the normal range - therefore the current focus on microcephaly screening alone is too narrow. Our findings suggest that among pregnancies affected by Zika virus, some foetuses will have brain abnormalities and microcephaly, others will have abnormalities with normal head sizes, and others will not be affected. A surveillance system aimed at detecting all affected newborns should not just focus on microcephaly and rash during pregnancy and should be revised, and examination of all newborns during epidemic waves should be considered.' The fact the brain can still be affected in the later stages of pregnancy has led the researchers to speculate that 'Zika virus infection in newborn babies might lead to neurological damage.'" #ZikaVirus #contagion #specialneeds
"The monthly numbers from NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) puts the planet on track to surpass 2015 as the hottest on record.... While 2016 has gotten a boost from an exceptionally strong El Niño, the record temps are mostly the result of the excess heat that has built up in Earth’s atmosphere due to accumulating greenhouse gases. That heat is raising global sea levels, disrupting ecosystems and leading to more extreme weather events. Every month this year has been record warm globally. Several months early in the year were among the first ever recorded to exceed 1°C (1.8°F) above average." #ClimateChange #LoveSTEM
"Health officials are worried that #Zika may have a foothold in South Florida. They're investigating two cases of Zika that may have been contracted from mosquitoes in Florida, not by people traveling abroad.... Officials in Florida are concerned about how much the Zika response will cost.... But so far, funds haven't been made available for intensive testing and surveillance.
'You have to have teams of people going into affected communities, community health centers, asking about fever and rash, and then taking a blood sample and testing it,' Hotez [Dean of the BCM National School of Tropical Medicine] says. 'That requires some resources and it's not being done. I'm worried that we could be seeing quite a bit of Zika happening now. It's just that no one's looking.'" #ZikaVirus #contagion