Zika News

 → November 23rd, 2020

Eliminating fake zika news with pharmacist, nurse, and physician review.

Nov 20 • 6:22 am CST

Why hasn't the Zika virus (ZIKV) disease caused as much devastation in Africa, its continent of origin, as it has in the Americas? Outside of Africa, this flavivirus is transmitted by a ubiquitous mosquito subspecies, Aedes aegypti aegypti.

New experiments published in Science on November 20, 2020, revealed that African mosquitoes transmitted a smaller virus inoculum than the South American insects.

Nov 17 • 2:19 am CST

The USA has taken substantial actions to fight against vector-borne diseases such as Zika. During August of 2020, the US Environmental Protection Agency approved a new chemical called nootkatone for use in repellants that could help the world better fight insect-borne diseases.

Nootkatone kills biting pests in a unique way, different from other insecticides already registered by the EPA, including pyrethroids, organophosphates, carbamates, and cyclodienes.

Unlike many other repellents and pesticides, nootkatone is naturally derived and is nontoxic to humans and other mammals. Additionally, nootkatone does not lose its potency after a few hours on the skin like many other naturally derived repellents.

Jay C. Butler, M.D., Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases at the U.S. CDC stated on August 10, 2020: “Providing new alternatives to existing bite-prevention methods paves the way to solving one of biggest challenges in preventing vector-borne diseases—preventing bites.”

Nov 6 • 4:33 am CST

Although the Zika epidemics in the Americas are now history, the Zika virus may re-emerge “in many countries in silence,” commented Sujan Shresta, Ph.D., a professor at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI). “We need to develop effective Zika vaccines.”

In a new study published by Science Advances on November 4, 2020, Shresta and her colleagues at LJI report that the immune system’s T cells have the power to prevent Zika infection in mice. This finding suggests that effective Zika vaccines need to activate T cells to work alongside antibodies.

The research team at LJI found that the vaccine strategy could induce a strong immunity against a potentially lethal Zika virus infection by inducing mainly CD8+ T cells, also called “killer” T cells, against the virus. The vaccine also prevented Zika transmission through the placenta from mother to fetus in pregnant mice.

Nov 2 • 11:06 am CST

Since the emergence in Brazil in 2015, manifestations of Zika virus (ZIKV) infections range from asymptomatic to severe neurological complications, including Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS) in adults and microcephaly in newborns via transplacental transmission, reported a September 17, 2020 study published in The Journal of Travel Medicine.

A recent ZIKV-associated GBS case highlights the ongoing importance of vigilance in residents and travelers to regions with prior ZIKV outbreaks, particularly outside typical arboviral seasons.

Oct 27 • 2:12 pm CDT

The Puerto Rico Health Department reported on October 6, 2020, there have been (67) probable Zika virus cases reported during 2020. The vast majority of these Zika cases have been confirmed surrounding the capital city of San Juan. 

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