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  1. #1
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    Zika virus 'spreading explosively': WHO chief


    AFP graphic

    Geneva (AFP) - The Zika virus is "spreading explosively" in the Americas and the region may see up to four million cases of the disease strongly suspected of causing birth defects, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

    As the number of suspected cases of microcephaly -- thought to be linked to the virus -- surged in Brazil, WHO head Margaret Chan said an emergency committee would meet on Monday to determine whether the Zika outbreak amounts to a global health emergency and how the world should respond.

    Microcephaly causes babies to be born with an abnormally small head.

    Cases have soared in Brazil from 163 a year on average to more than 3,718 suspected cases since the outbreak, and 68 babies have died, according to the health ministry.

    Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica and Puerto Rico have warned women to avoid getting pregnant for the time being, while France has urged women not to travel to French overseas territories in South America and the Caribbean.

    Chan told an assembly of WHO member-states in Geneva that the severity of the current outbreak was unprecedented in recent decades.

    For decades after Zika was first discovered in Uganda in 1947 the mosquito-borne virus was of little concern, sporadically causing "mild" illness in human populations.

    "The situation today is dramatically different. The level of alarm is extremely high," she said, with Zika also possibly linked to a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.

    "A causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth malformations and neurological syndromes has not yet been established, but is strongly suspected," Chan said.

    She told WHO members that the virus "is now spreading explosively," in the Americas, where 23 countries and territories have reported cases.

    - 3 to 4 million cases -

    Marcos Espinal, the head of communicable diseases and health analysis at WHO's Americas office, said the region could see between three to four million cases of Zika.

    That projection applied to the next 12 months and was based largely on historical spread patterns of similar mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, said Sylvain Aldighieri, a WHO epidemic expert in the Americas.

    WHO has previously said that it expects Zika to spread to every country in the Americas except Canada and Chile.

    There have not yet been any cases of local transmission of Zika virus within the United States, although infected travellers have returned to the country after visiting other areas.

    However, a recent study in The Lancet suggests that Zika virus could reach regions of the United States in which 60 percent of the population lives, or some 200 million Americans.

    Chan explained that the February 1 emergency committee meeting will also aim to identify priority areas for urgent research, after US President Barack Obama called for swift action, including better diagnostic tests as well as the development of vaccines and treatments.

    - Olympic concerns -

    Brazil has been the country hardest hit so far, and concerns are growing about this summer's Olympic games, which are likely to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to host city Rio de Janeiro in August.

    Six months from the opening ceremony, the government has promised to attack mosquito breeding sites and protect visitors from the virus, from which there is no known prevention method aside from avoiding mosquito bites.

    WHO's deputy chief Bruce Aylward told reporters that it was "very, very unlikely" the UN agency would issue warnings against travel to Brazil, including for the games.

    The head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said it will "do everything" in its power to keep the Games safe from the virus.

    Honduras also said it had registered 1,000 cases of Zika, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species that also carries dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

    With concern over travel to Latin America spreading, two airlines in the region announced refund offers to pregnant women booked for travel.

    Chilean-Brazilian airline Latam, the region's biggest, will refund or rebook expectant mothers with tickets to any of 22 countries or territories with outbreaks of the mosquito-borne virus, while Chilean company Sky will refund pregnant women with tickets to Brazil.

    US carriers Delta and American Airlines have made similar offers.

    The Zika virus takes its name from a Ugandan forest, where it was first discovered.

    Chan stressed that previous beliefs about the disease have been challenged by the fresh outbreak and that WHO needed better information as quickly as possible.

    "The level of concern is high, as is the level of uncertainty. Questions abound," she said. "We need to get some answers quickly."

    Zika virus 'spreading explosively': WHO chief

  2. #2
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    Something that the health organizations around the world must prepare for and deal with.

    How worried are you, the members who reside in a SE Asian nation, that Zika Virus will become an endemic disease where you reside...or nothing to worry about ?

  3. #3
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    Oh dear. The news this morning said it may have spread from Aegyptus to Culex.

    That enlarges the transmission vector by a factor of 20 and means it can now go virtually anywhere.

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    which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species that also carries dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
    Surely it is the people who carry the diseases? The mosquito simply transfers from one to another.

    The mosquitoes live for six to eight weeks!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species that also carries dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
    Surely it is the people who carry the diseases? The mosquito simply transfers from one to another.

    The mosquitoes live for six to eight weeks!
    Kill everyone and the disease stops.......simple

  6. #6
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    AFP graphics

  7. #7
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    does this mean I should invest in hat makers as their materials costs should drop and make them more profitable ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Oh dear. The news this morning said it may have spread from Aegyptus to Culex.

    That enlarges the transmission vector by a factor of 20 and means it can now go virtually anywhere.
    That is alarmist and an exaggeration not least because the Culex variety prefers to nibble on birds rather than your meat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Oh dear. The news this morning said it may have spread from Aegyptus to Culex.

    That enlarges the transmission vector by a factor of 20 and means it can now go virtually anywhere.
    That is alarmist and an exaggeration not least because the Culex variety prefers to nibble on birds rather than your meat.
    Well it isn't is it?

    Diseases Spread by the Culex Mosquito

    Although the Culex mosquito is not a primary vector for prevalent mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever, it can transmit a number of other illnesses that can present serious health problems to human beings. It is known to contribute to the spreading of the West Nile Virus, filariasis, and encephalitis.
    And there's more:
    Although its main target has been birds, the House mosquito is now targeting humans and mammals on a regular basis. The mosquito bites an infected bird and then goes to another blood meal host, whether a human or another bird, and bites that new victim, injecting it with the virus from the original bird. This process has helped to spread diseases from bird to bird, and more recently, from bird to humans and other mammals. Culex pipiens can therefore be considered a “bridge” vector as it transmits viruses between birds and mammals.

    I think you're shit at Google.

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    I was well aware of this information but in terms of overall assessment of the dangers posed by the Culex variant to the majority, I think it poses much less risk than you had stated.

    I think you are shit at analysis.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    I was well aware of this information
    Of course you were.


  12. #12
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    A new generation of pinheads. The future of the Teakdoor Doghouse is secure.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b View Post
    A new generation of pinheads. The future of the Teakdoor Doghouse is secure.
    And so it was written. And so it shall be for evermore.

  14. #14
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    The Zika virus takes its name from a Ugandan forest, where it was first discovered.
    Bloody Africans shagging monkeys again.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    The Zika virus takes its name from a Ugandan forest, where it was first discovered.
    Bloody Africans shagging monkeys again.
    What are you so fussy about? Anybody who'd shag an Isaan bargirl would shag a shaved monkey and not be able to tell the difference.

  16. #16
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    going to be a lot of empty seats at the Olympics.

    seems to cosy up in sperm for a month also, or so they say.

    no shortage of partners when they get interested but will they be allowed to have kids ?

  17. #17
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    I'm sure the pope is already preparing the statement telling his loyal subjects that they can use contraception to prevent the spread of birth defects.

    If it means a few priests have to do with wanking themselves for a few years, so be it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    The Zika virus takes its name from a Ugandan forest, where it was first discovered.
    Bloody Africans shagging monkeys again.
    I thought it was named after a Brazilian footie player?

  19. #19
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    Zico, I think...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmart View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    The Zika virus takes its name from a Ugandan forest, where it was first discovered.
    Bloody Africans shagging monkeys again.
    I thought it was named after a Brazilian footie player?
    Did you know it was found 70 years ago in Uganda?

    But apparently they don't have a big aegyptus problem.

    Zika virus: Inside Uganda's forest where the disease originates - BBC News

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    Looking at the spread patterns. Is it possible or likely that the mosquitoes themselves are carried on the trade winds as the pattern goes west to east.

  22. #22
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    The Zika virus, which has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains in Brazil,
    Obviously been in this country for at least one generation then?

    A rare nervous system disorder, Guillain-Barre syndrome, that can cause temporary paralysis has been linked to the infection.
    That's OK then as I have had that and doctor said I can't get it again. Bonus?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    Looking at the spread patterns. Is it possible or likely that the mosquitoes themselves are carried on the trade winds as the pattern goes west to east.
    And on ships and aircraft apparently.

    You might see a lot more spraying from now on.

  24. #24
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    Jeezus. So many "experts". This board is damn lucky to have so many entomologists and virologists to hand.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b View Post
    A new generation of pinheads. The future of the Teakdoor Doghouse is secure.
    And so it was written. And so it shall be for evermore.
    As they almost never recognize themselves for what they are and the class in which they delve.

    More astounding is how accepted it is within these circles.


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