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Archive for January 23rd, 2016

ZIKV Emergency: New Warnings Issued by Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador & Jamaica

Posted by feww on January 23, 2016

One million cases of ZIKV infections worldwide: FIRE-EARTH Models

FIRE-EARTH Models show more than one million incidences of ZIKV infections may have occurred worldwide since October 2015.

Link to Microcephaly

Researchers suspect a possible link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly, a severe birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.

Microcephaly can occur as a result of changes in babies genes, as well as other causes that can include the following exposures during pregnancy:

Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly. Microcephaly is not a common condition. State birth defects tracking systems have estimated that microcephaly ranges from 2 babies per 10,000 live births to about 12 babies per 10,000 live births in the Unites States.

Latest Health Warnings

Authorities in four countries—Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica—have warned women to avoid pregnancy as cases of microcephaly, believed to be caused by Zika virus (ZIKV), continue to multiply.

Brazil. Authorities say the number of babies born with suspected microcephaly has now reached about 4,000 since October, 2015.

Colombia. Health Minister has urged women to delay pregnancies for about eight months.

Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica. Authorities have told women to delay pregnancies by up to two years.

U.S. Last week, explosive outbreaks of ZIKV, a dangerous tropical disease linked to birth defects, prompted the  U.S. health officials to issue a travel alert for people traveling to regions and countries where the virus transmission is spreading: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Countries that have past or current evidence of Zika virus transmission

AFRICA: Angola*, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt*, Ethiopia*, Gabon, Gambia*, Kenya*, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone*, Somalia*, Tanzania*, Uganda and Zambia*.

AMERICAS: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Venezuela.

OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

ASIA: Cambodia, India*, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan*, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam*.

[*For these countries, the only evidence of Zika virus transmission is from studies that detected Zika virus antibodies in healthy people.  These studies cannot determine where the people were infected or if they were infected with Zika virus because the antibodies may have resulted from infections with other closely related viruses, such a; s dengue virus.]

Ae. aegypti Mosquitoes: The Principal Vectors of ZIKV

Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are the principal vectors of dengue (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, DENV-4), chikungunya (CHIKV), yellow fever (YFV), and Zika (ZIKV) viruses. Of these seven arboviruses, DENV, YFV and CHIKV have caused outbreaks within the United States and its territories in the past 110 years.

With a newly-obtained fiery red blood meal visible through her transparent abdomen, the now heavy female Aedes aegypti mosquito took flight as she left her host’s skin surface. Photo Credit: James Gathany/ CDC

Approximate distribution of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes in the United States. -CDC-

ZIKV in Brief [CDC]

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries. In December 2015, Puerto Rico reported its first confirmed Zika virus case. Locally transmitted Zika has not been reported elsewhere in the United States, but cases of Zika have been reported in returning travelers.

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Travelers can protect themselves from this disease by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. When traveling to countries where Zika virus (see map) or other viruses spread by mosquitoes have been reported, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.

Zika and pregnancy

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Major Disaster Declared for Alabama

Posted by feww on January 23, 2016

Alabama declared Federal Disaster Area

  • Incident period: December 23, 2015 to December 31, 2015
  • Major Disaster Declaration declared on January 21, 2016

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Alabama in the areas affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of December 23-31, 2015.

The areas that were hardest hit by the disasters include the counties of Autauga, Barbour, Blount, Bullock, Butler, Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Coffee, Colbert, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, DeKalb, Elmore, Escambia, Fayette, Franklin, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Lamar, Lawrence, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Perry, Pike, Russell, St. Clair, Walker, and Winston.

Federal Disaster Declarations (2015)

The federal government proclaimed 43 Major Disaster Declaration [DR 4205-4247] for a U.S. state/tribal area/territory in 2015, two Emergency Declarations, EM-3372 and EM-3373 and 34 Fire Management Assistance Declarations [FM-5084 to FM-5117.]

Major Disaster Declarations 2016

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Historic Nor’easter: Dozen Dead; NJ Declares State of Emergency

Posted by feww on January 23, 2016


About 72cm of snow recorded in parts of West Virginia as of 15:00UTC

New York Gov. declares a State of Emergency

State of Emergency declared in New Jersey as nor’easter threatens massive snow dump, coastal flooding

One in seven Americans should expect at least 6 inches of snow by Sunday as historic winter storm moves north

Warnings, Watches or Advisories have been issued for up to 90 million people across at least 21 states, as the historic winter storm continued to move north.

Blizzard Warning, Winter Storm Warning, High Wind Warning, Storm Warning, Coastal Flood Warning, Flood Warning, Gale Warning, and Freeze Warning in effect across multiple States.

At least a dozen people have been killed, multiple states have declared states of emergency, and thousands of flights have been cancelled across a large portion of the U.S. from Arkansas in the south to Massachusetts in the northeast.

States of emergency are currently in effect across North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and portions of several other states, as well as in the District of Columbia.

Major To Historic Winter Storm Will Impact The Middle Atlantic To Southern New England Into Sunday

A powerful low pressure system will bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions from the Middle Atlantic Region all the way through southern New England. The heaviest snow is expected to fall over the Middle Atlantic Region including the Washington DC and Baltimore metro areas west to the Blue Ridge mountains. In addition, moderate coastal flooding is expected. The storm will taper off by Sunday. -NWS-


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