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The Rendon Group
Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.
Zika Virus continues to spread in the Americas
An edes aegypti mosquito inside a test tube as part of a research on preventing the spread of the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. (Reuters)
This week’s snapshot focuses on the continuing effort to stem the latest outbreak of the Zika virus, which is believed to have originated in Brazil in APR15. Zika virus (ZIKV), spread primarily through the infected Aedes species of mosquito, has come to the United States, though it is thought that mosquito species indigenous to the continental US have not been affected. Researchers continue to discover new information concerning transmission of the virus. On 17JUL, in a first of its kind, Utah authorities reported an individual contracted Zika by an unidentified means other than mosquitos or sexual contact. Health officials in Florida investigated potential cases of mosquito spread Zika, in an attempt to confirm the reports from the Utah Department of Health. As the Olympics in Rio Di Janero approaches, Brazilian researchers believe they may have found Zika in common mosquito species in addition to the Aedes. Congress began its summer recess on 14JUL without a plan to aid the fight against the mosquito-borne virus despite health authorities’ urging for government action.
News summary of events during the week of 18JUL16 – 25JUL16
Sample of Twitter handles tweeting about the Zika epidemic
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the Zika epidemic
Dr. Amesh Adalja, Spokesman, Infectious Diseases Society of America
“We know bodily fluids like saliva and urine can harbor the virus.”
Constancia Ayres, Researcher, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
“It means that we have a second species of vector involved in transmission. And with this vector having totally different habits from Aedes aegypti, we will have to create new strategies to combat Culex as well.”
Chris Barker, Researcher, School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, Davis
“It’s not really tourists going back and forth…Travel-related Zika cases are a function of both travel volume and how active the virus is in countries being visited. When there is a high level of both, that is where you have the most cases.”
Jerome Goddard, Professor of Entomology, Mississippi State University
“Just finding the virus in another species doesn’t mean that it can efficiently transmit it.”
Michael Osterholm, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota
“I really believe the worst is yet to come with Zika throughout the Americas…It has not peaked.”
Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the Zika epidemic
Media: Wall Street Journal
Byline: BETSY MCKAY and CAMERON MCWHIRTER
Date: 18 July 2016
With summer in full swing, public-health and mosquito-control officials are pulling out the stops to halt the Zika virus from taking root and spreading in the continental U.S.
The mosquitoes that are able to spread the virus are flourishing this summer in Key West, Fla., just as they did six years ago during an outbreak of dengue—another disease they can transmit, said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District. “We’re on high alert,” he said.
Byline: Michele Gershberg
Date: 19 July 2016
Florida health officials said on Tuesday they are investigating a case of Zika virus infection that does not appear to have stemmed from travel to another region with an outbreak.
The statement from the Florida Department of Health did not specify whether the Zika case was believed to have been transmitted via mosquito bite, sexual contact or other means.
Media: Wall Street Journal
Byline: BETSY MCKAY
Date: 21 July 2016
Florida health officials said late Thursday that they are investigating a second case of Zika in a person whose source of infection is unknown.
The second person resides in Broward County, whose county seat is Fort Lauderdale. The Florida Department of Health said that it is conducting an epidemiological investigation into a “possible nontravel related case of Zika virus” in that county, and added that its investigation into a similar case in neighboring Miami-Dade County, which it disclosed late Tuesday, is “ongoing.”
Media: New York Times
Byline: MARC SANTORA
Date: 22 July 2016
Health officials on Friday reported the first baby born in New York City with the Zika-related birth defect known as microcephaly, a condition marked by an abnormally small head and impaired brain development.
The virus has caused more than 1,500 children to be born with birth defects around the world, mostly in Brazil. As it continues to spread, doctors are struggling to understand the virus and to prepare for its effects.
Byline: JULIE STEENHUYSEN
Date: 22 July 2016
As U.S. public health officials try to determine whether Zika has arrived in the country, doctors are establishing guidelines on how to care for the rising number of babies whose mothers were infected with the virus during pregnancy.
Florida said it is investigating two possible cases of Zika not related to travel to an area where Zika is active, raising the possibility of the first incidence of local transmission of the mosquito-borne virus.
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