Monthly Archives: March 2016

US States

  • Travel-associated Zika virus disease cases reported: 312
  • Locally acquired vector-borne cases reported: 0
  • Of the 312 cases reported, 27 were pregnant women, 6 were sexually transmitted, and 1 had Guillain-Barré syndrome

US Territories

  • Travel-associated cases reported: 3
  • Locally acquired cases reported: 349
  • Of the 352 cases reported, 37 were pregnant women and 1 had Guillain-Barré syndrome
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The timeframe for using condoms or waiting to have sex will vary based on the couple’s situation and concerns and are listed below.

Couples who include a man who has been diagnosed with Zika or had symptoms of Zika should consider using condoms or not having sex for at least 6 months after symptoms begin. This includes men who live in and men who traveled to areas with Zika.
Couples who include a man who traveled to an area with Zika but did not develop symptoms of Zika should consider using condoms or not having sex for at least 8 weeks after their return.
Couples who include a man who lives in an area with Zika but has not developed symptoms of Zika should consider using condoms or not having sex while there is Zika in the area.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a new guidance recommending the deferral of individuals from donating blood if they have been to areas with active Zika virus transmission, potentially have been exposed to the virus, or have had a confirmed Zika virus infection.

While there have been no reports to date of Zika virus entering the U.S. blood supply, the risk of blood transmission is considered likely based on the most current scientific evidence of how Zika virus and similar viruses (flaviviruses) are spread and recent reports of transfusion-associated infection outside of the U.S. Furthermore, about 4 out of 5 of those infected with Zika virus do not become symptomatic. For these reasons, the FDA is recommending that blood establishments defer blood donations from individuals in accordance with the new guidance.

In areas without active Zika virus transmission, the FDA recommends that donors at risk for Zika virus infection be deferred for four weeks. Individuals considered to be at risk include: those who have had fever, joint pain, rash or conjunctivitis  during the past four weeks, those who have had sexual contact with a person who has traveled to, or resided in, an area with active Zika virus transmission during the prior three months, and those who have traveled to areas with active transmission of Zika virus during the past four weeks.

In areas with active Zika virus transmission, the FDA recommends that Whole Blood and blood components for transfusion be obtained from areas of the U.S. without active transmission. Blood establishments may continue collecting and preparing platelets and plasma if an FDA-approved, pathogen-reduction device is used. The guidance also recommends blood establishments update donor education materials with information about Zika virus signs and symptoms and ask potentially affected donors to refrain from giving blood.

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Visit the CDC for full details:

Cape Verde
Mexico

The Caribbean
Aruba; Barbados; Bonaire; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominican Republic; Guadeloupe; Haiti; Jamaica; Martinique; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a US territory; Saint Martin; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Maarten; Trinidad and Tobago; US Virgin Islands

Central America
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama

The Pacific Islands
American Samoa, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Samoa, Tonga

South America
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela

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To understand more about Zika virus infection, CDC established the US Zika Pregnancy Registry and is collaborating with state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments to collect information about Zika virus infection during pregnancy and congenital Zika virus infection. The data collected through this registry will be used to update recommendations for clinical care, to plan for services for pregnant women and families affected by Zika virus, and to improve prevention of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

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At A Glance - Zika in the U.S.

US States
Travel-associated Zika virus disease cases reported: 258.
Locally acquired vector-borne cases reported: 0.
Of the 258 travel-associated infections, 18 are in pregnant women and 6 were sexually transmitted.

US Territories
Travel-associated cases reported: 3.
Locally acquired cases reported: 283.
Of the 283 locally acquired infections, 35 are pregnant women.

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Oxitec is applying to release sterile mosquitoes that are programmed to create self destructing progeny. The sterile insect technique has been used over the last 50 years in a number of countries for controlling insects. Normally, these released insects are males. Releasing males is attractive because they aren't the ones that bite. The sterile males compete with wild males for the females.

Oxitec Limited developed a program to control mosquitoes, which is based on the sterile insect technology. This program involves the production of genetically engineered male mosquitoes, known as OX513A Aedes aegypti that possess a fluorescent marker and a conditional lethality characteristic. The goal or releasing these engineered mosquitoes is to reduce the local population of Aedes aegypti.

The genetically engineered Aedes Aegypti were developed to reduce mosquitoes in Florida. The engineered mosquito has not been approved for use until now. The conditional lethality is this mosquito larva requires tetracycline to live. Oxitec Limited plans to rear millions of male mosquitoes each week. The mosquitoes would be released and breed with wild mosquitoes. In the lab, when the larvae of the mosquito are given tetracycline it serves as a remedy for the self-limiting gene. When in the wild, without tetracycline, the genetically engineered progeny of OX513A (Aedes aegypti) will not reach adulthood.

OX513A has been approved for import and contained testing in Brazil, Cayman Islands, France, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, USA and Vietnam. Field trials are currently also underway in Brazil.

Thomas Masterson MD, editor, MedicalNewsService.com

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