Zika virus outbreak 2016 update: FDA action against Zika spread, Dallas Zika infection cases, virus threatens Rio Olympics

The FDA is taking action against the spread of Zika virus. One of their first steps was to protect the safety of blood supplies by not allowing individuals who had visited Zika-ridden countries to donate blood. Countries that are heavily affected by Zika should obtain their blood supplies from other Zika-free countries in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

The FDA is also supporting diagnostic development by actively working with manufacturers to improve their diagnostic programs. Additionally, the FDA is working on strategies to suppress the mosquito population and facilitating medical product development. This involves working closely with researchers to advance developments on a possible Zika treatment or cure.

zika-virus-rio-olympicsZika virus and new super bacteria threaten Rio Olympic athletes


Zika virus and new super bacteria pose a threat to athletes at the approaching Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Researchers are monitoring the potential Zika virus exposure risk among Olympic athletes, coaches, and other U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) members attending the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Catherine Y. Spong, director of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), said, “Zika virus infection poses many unknown risks, especially to those of reproductive age.
Monitoring the health and reproductive outcomes of members of the U.S. Olympic team offers a unique opportunity to answer important questions and help address an ongoing public health emergency.”

Research lead Carrie L. Byington, M.D., added, “We partnered with the USOC to improve knowledge of the dynamics of Zika infection, so that we can better protect the health of athletes and staff who will participate in the 2016 Games. This ongoing relationship also opens avenues for long-term research that promises to benefit not only the Americas, but also other regions facing the emergence of the virus.” Continue reading…

Baby sleeping on pregnant woman's stomachDallas confirms 10 cases of Zika virus among pregnant women

Dallas, Texas officials have confirmed at least 10 cases of Zika virus among pregnant women. All the women contracted the virus while travelling abroad.

In related news, the U.S. House has approved $1.1 billion spending to combat the rising threat of Zika virus. The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate, but previously President Obama asked for $1.9 billion.

So far, there have not been any reported local transmission of Zika virus in the U.S., but the number of cases continues to rise, particularly among pregnant women who are travelling abroad and returning home with the infection.

As of June 9, the CDC reported 239 pregnant cases of Zika virus. So far, one woman in New Jersey has given birth to a baby with microcephaly – the birth defect caused by Zika virus. Continue reading…

pregnant woman examinationBirth defect risk in Zika virus depends on the timing of infection during pregnancy

Birth defects risk in Zika virus depends on the timing of infection during pregnancy, according to a new study. If Zika infection occurs during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, then the risk of Zika-related birth defects increases.

The researchers from the U.S. and Colombia looked at over 12,000 pregnancies in Colombian women. The study found that women did not have any infant abnormalities if they contracted Zika in the last three months of their pregnancy. On the other hand, 10 percent of the women in their last trimester had not given birth yet, so the research is still preliminary.

The researchers concluded that based on the data “maternal infection with the Zika virus during the third trimester of pregnancy is not linked to structural abnormalities in the fetus.” Continue reading…

Spray insectThreat of Zika virus prompts extra mosquito protection during summer


With the rising threat of Zika virus, individuals need to protect themselves more from mosquito bites, especially from mosquitoes carrying the virus. Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes aegyptimosquitoes. Symptoms of Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Although symptoms are mild and non-threatening in healthy individuals, Zika virus poses a larger threat to pregnant women and their fetuses as it can lead to birth defects.

Brazil currently has the largest number of Zika virus cases, including 5,000 cases of microcephaly, which is a birth defect caused by the virus. There is growing concern that the Aedes aegypti mosquito will make its way to the U.S., including Gulf Coast states like Florida and Louisiana. Continue reading…

Mosquito Biting FingerZika cases in Florida exceed 100, new cases in New York City, mosquito bite prevention critical to stop spread

Zika virus cases in Florida have exceeded 100, new cases have been reported in New York City, so mosquito bite prevention is critical to stop the spread. So far the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 591 travel-associated cases of Zika virus in the U.S., with 121 in Florida and 127 in New York. There are no reports of locally-acquired Zika virus, meaning the American mosquitoes are not transmitting the virus, but new reports suggest that the Zika-infected mosquitoes may make their way to the southern states. Continue reading…