Watch the new CBSN Originals documentary, "Zika: Children of the Outbreak," in the video player above. The full hour special premieres Sunday, March 10, on CBSN at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET. Three years after Zika virus first made headlines, and the photos of babies born with disturbingly small heads instilled fear in expectant parents around the world, doctors have learned a great deal about the disease. But while some of Zika's mysteries have been solved, other questions linger. Between 2015 and 2016, thousands of babies whose mothers were infected with Zika during pregnancy were born with severe birth defects and a range of disabilities. Recife, Brazil was ground zero. There, Zika spread explosively in densely populated neighborhoods whose poor living conditions were a perfect breeding ground for the mosquitoes that spread the disease. Then, as mysteriously as it arrived, the outbreak mostly subsided — from over 20,000 cases a week to just a few … [Read more...] about Will Zika return? What pregnant women and others need to know about this frightening disease
Last spring, as it does every year, the World Health Organization released a list of infectious diseases that its experts think are especially high-risk—ones that could blow up into epidemics and for which there are no treatments or vaccines. The list has been created every year since 2014, when the Ebola epidemic in West Africa took the world by surprise. This year’s specimen included the pathogens that public health people consider the usual deadly suspects: Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers, MERS and SARS, and mosquito-borne Zika and Rift Valley Fever. But there was also a novel entry: Disease X. Maryn McKenna (@marynmck is an Ideas contributor for WIRED, a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, and the author of Big Chicken. “Disease X” doesn’t actually exist. The WHO wasn’t warning against a specific pathogen; it was reminding public health and medicine how important it is to be ready for … [Read more...] about A New Disease Is Testing Us for the Next Global Epidemic
Researchers have generated six Zika virus antibodies that could be used to test for and possibly treat a mosquito-borne disease that has infected more than 1.5 million people worldwide. The antibodies "may have the dual utility as diagnostics capable of recognizing Zika virus subtypes and may be further developed to treat Zika virus infection," corresponding author Ravi Durvasula, MD, and colleagues report in a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Dr. Durvasula is professor and chair of the department of medicine of Loyola Medicine and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. First author is Adinarayana Kunamneni, PhD, a research assistant professor in Loyola's department of medicine. Zika is spread mainly by mosquitos. Most infected people experience no symptoms or mild symptoms such as a rash, mild fever and red eyes. But infection during pregnancy can cause miscarriages, stillbirths and severe birth defects such as microcephaly. Zika virus is a textbook example … [Read more...] about Researchers Produce Six Antibodies to Combat Zika Virus
By Jon CohenOct. 31, 2018 , 11:55 AM When the Zika virus exploded in the Americas in 2015, it quickly became an international scare: Pregnant women, bitten by infected mosquitoes, could pass the virus to their babies, some of whom suffered brain malformations as a result. But the epidemic eventually wound down, thanks in part to large swaths of populations developing immunity. Now, scientists in Brazil have discovered that more than a third of the wild monkeys they tested for Zika have been infected, the strongest evidence yet that a “reservoir” for the disease outside of humans has the potential to form. “We found this phenomenon in two different cities at the same time, so [infected monkeys] are more common than we think,” says Maurício Lacerda Nogueria, a virologist at the São José do Rio Preto School of Medicine in Brazil, who led the new study. Even though his team is still a long way from showing that the monkeys spread the virus between … [Read more...] about Are wild monkeys becoming a reservoir for Zika virus in the Americas?
Los Angeles County is warning its residents to look out for fleas that could be carrying typhus after more than 40 cases have been reported in the area in the last several months.“The Pasadena Public Health Department is reporting epidemic levels of typhus fever this year," the city said in a statement.Symptoms of typhus include fever and chills, body aches, muscle pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting or rash on the chest, back, arms or legs.Typhus is typically transferred from infected flea feces when human rub their eyes, cuts or scrapes. The disease cannot be transferred between humans.Twenty cases have been reported in Pasadena, along with 12 in Long Beach and nine in the rest of Los Angeles, according to NBC.The Los Angeles County health department urged residents to keep pets indoors and use EPA-registered insect repellent to avoid flea bites.RELATED: A breakdown of 9 common bug bites 10 PHOTOS A breakdown of 9 common bug bites See Gallery A breakdown … [Read more...] about Los Angeles typhus outbreak reaches ‘epidemic levels’