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Health News
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Hawaii declares emergency over mosquito-borne illnesses

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, left, talks to reporters about the state's plans for fighting mosquito-borne illness as George Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, center, and Virginia Pressler, director of the state Department of Health, listen on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 in Honolulu. Ige declared a state of emergency to fight mosquito borne illnesses including dengue fever and the Zika virus. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)HONOLULU (AP) Hawaii Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency to fight mosquito borne illnesses including dengue fever and the Zika virus.

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 22:37:52 -0500
US scientists travel to Colombia for Zika collaboration

Workers spray chemicals to eliminate breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoAmerican scientists traveled to Colombia to investigate the mosquito-borne Zika virus and help find a vaccine for the disease that is plaguing Latin America, the US ambassador to Bogota said Friday. The US experts are studying "the possibility of a vaccine" alongside specialists from the Colombian Health Ministry, Ambassador Kevin Whitaker said from Bogota, capital of the second worst-hit nation. "It's a process that can take months," Whitaker said, without providing details on the financial cost of sending the US scientists.

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 21:23:37 -0500
Athletes concerned about Zika before Rio Olympic test event

Municipal workers walk after spraying insecticide at Sambodrome in Rio de JaneiroInternational athletes set to compete in an Olympic diving test event in Rio de Janeiro next week have asked about risks linked to the Zika virus, but have not canceled participation because of the outbreak, one of the organizers said on Friday. "They are concerned and are being given advice on how to proceed," Cassius Duran, a former Brazilian diver, told reporters at the inauguration of the remodeled Maria Lenk Aquatic Center, where the Olympic diving will be held in August. Duran said organizers were telling athletes to use repellents to protect themselves against mosquito bites, the primary means of transmission of the virus.

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:26:55 -0500
Zika virus may hide in organs protected from the immune system

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Zika virus may be particularly adept at entrenching itself in parts of the body that are shielded from the immune system, making it harder to fight off and possibly lengthening the timeframe in which it can be transmitted, top U.S. experts said on Friday. Researchers reported that Zika virus can be detected in semen for 62 days after a person is infected, adding to evidence of the viruss presence in fetal brain tissue, placenta and amniotic fluid.

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:06:34 -0500
Zika pushes 38 percent of U.S. businesses surveyed to let workers defer trips

Some 38 percent of U.S. multinationals, universities and non-profits surveyed by an arm of the State Department are allowing female employees to defer travel or leave countries where the Zika virus has been reported. A fifth of the 321 respondents said they were giving male employees similar options, a sign of how employers' travel policies are diverging as they react to the mosquito-borne virus and uncertainty about the way it is transmitted. Scientists are investigating a potential link between Zika infections of pregnant women and more than 4,000 suspected cases in Brazil of microcephaly, a condition marked by abnormally small head size that can result in developmental problems.

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:06:34 -0500
Zika link to birth defects could be proven within weeks: WHO

Vanessa, feeds her daughter Valentina, who is 5-months old and born with microcephaly, with a bottle under a mosquito net, inside their house in JaboataoBy Stephanie Nebehay and Ben Hirschler GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) - The suspected link between the Zika virus and two neurological disorders, the birth defect microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome, could be confirmed within weeks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday. A sharp increase in microcephaly cases in Brazil has triggered a global health emergency over the mosquito-borne virus, which had previously been viewed as causing only a relatively mild illness, and spurred a race to develop a vaccine, medicines and better diagnostic tests.

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:06:34 -0500
Factbox: Why the Zika virus is causing alarm

(Reuters) - Global health officials have said that the Zika virus, which has been linked to severe birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil, is rapidly spreading in the Americas and could infect up to 4 million people. The virus is transmitted to people through the bite of infected female Aedes mosquitoes, the same type of mosquito that spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said Aedes mosquitoes are found in all countries in the Americas except Canada and continental Chile, and the virus will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found.

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:06:34 -0500
Timeline: Zika's origin and global spread

(Reuters) - The following timeline charts the origin and spread of the Zika virus from its discovery in Uganda nearly 70 years ago: 1947 - Scientists researching yellow fever in Uganda's Zika Forest isolate the virus in samples taken from a rhesus monkey 1948 - Virus recovered from Aedes africanus mosquito in the Zika forest 1952 - First human cases detected in Uganda and Tanzania 1954 - Virus found in young girl in Nigeria 1960s-1980s - Zika detected in mosquitoes and monkeys in band of countries stretching across equatorial Africa 19691983 - Zika is found in equatorial Asia, including ...

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:06:34 -0500
Zika effect short-lived in Latin Americann stocks, for now: Morgan Stanley

The spread of the Zika virus will likely affect tourism and transport-related stocks in Latin America in the short term, but evidence of its longer-lasting impact on markets and local economies has yet to surface, according to Morgan Stanley analysts. The economies of Mrbrexico and Peru would be the most affected if the virus spreads through all of Latin America, something the World Health Organization fears could happen this year. "Colombia, although having a smaller tourism exposure relative to GDP, is heavily reliant on foreign tourists and hence could see a bigger loss of tourism revenue," said the Morgan Stanley note.

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 18:49:17 -0500
U.S. agencies to study safety of artificial turf fields

Three U.S. government agencies will team up to study whether artificial turf fields and playgrounds that use bits of recycled tires are exposing children to dangerous chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday they will study the issue, CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement. "I am very pleased that we are joining forces to investigate crumb rubber, as millions of children are exposed to it on playground surfaces and as infill on playing fields," he said.

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 18:30:42 -0500
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