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Posts Tagged ‘Aedes aegypti’

Sri Lanka Dengue Outbreak Kills 250, Infects 85,000

Posted by feww on July 28, 2017

Dengue cases in S-L increased 4.3 times compared with recent average

Ministry of Health (MoH) Sri Lanka has reported an increase in the number of dengue cases in the country this year. As many as 85,000 dengue cases, including 250 deaths, have been reported by MoH so far  this year (to July 7, 2017). The number of cases this year has reportedly increased by 4.3 times more than the average number of cases for the same period between 2010 and 2016, said WHO.

“The current dengue fever outbreak occurs in a context of massive heavy rains and flooding and is currently affecting 15 out of 25 districts in Sri Lanka where almost 600,000 people have been affected. Heavy monsoon rains, public failure to clear rain-soaked garbage, standing water pools and other potential breeding grounds for mosquito larvae attribute to the higher number of cases reported in urban and suburban areas.”

Risk Assessment (WHO)

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection caused by four dengue virus serotypes (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4). Infection with one serotype provides long-term immunity to the homologous serotype but not to the other serotypes; secondary infections put people at greater risk for severe dengue fever and dengue shock syndrome.

Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the vectors widely adapted to urban and suburban environments. Dengue fever is endemic in Sri Lanka, and occurs every year, usually soon after rainfall is optimal for mosquito breeding. However DENV-2 has been identified only in low numbers since 2009 and is reportedly over 50% of current specimens which have been serotyped.

The current dengue epidemic is likely to have repercussions on public health in Sri Lanka.

  • Additional information available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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ZIKV Transmission Documented in 55 Countries and Territories

Posted by feww on March 9, 2016

Geographical distribution of Zika virus steadily widening

A total of 55 countries and territories have documented Zika virus transmission between 1 January 2007 and 3 March 2016.

  • Colombia reported 42,706 suspected cases of ZIKV btween  1 October 2015 and 20 February 2016, with 1,612 cases confirmed.
  • Starting 2007, locally acquired Zika cases have been reported in 15 countries and territories in the Western Pacific Region.
    • Four Pacific Island countries and areas (American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Samoa and Tonga) have reported Zika infections in 2016.
    • Nauru has declared Zika virus as a national emergency of concern for purposes of preparedness, but to date no Zika virus cases have been reported.
  • Between 1 October 2015 and 7 February 2016, Cabo Verde (African region), reported 7,325 suspected cases of Zika virus disease (two cases have been confirmed, so far).
    • The outbreak peaked during the week of 22 November 2015 and has been in decline since then; 44 cases were reported in the week up to 21 February 2016. The number of suspected cases of Zika virus disease reported each week in Praia (light blue) and other municipalities (dark blue) of Cabo Verde (Fi g. 4).
    • The outbreak appears to have begun in Praia and then spread to other municipalities. Preliminary information, subject to confirmation, indicates that this outbreak has been caused by an African strain of Zika virus.
    • No neurological abnormalities have been reported.

Incidence of microcephaly

  • Between 22 October 2015 and 27 February 2016 a total of 5,909 cases of microcephaly and/or central nervous system (CNS) malformation were reported by Brazil including 139 deaths including miscarriage or stillbirth. [Previously an average of 163 microcephaly cases was recorded nationwide.]
    • 31 of these were confirmed as having microcephaly and/or CNS malformation potentially linked to congenital Zika virus infection, 96 remain under investigation and 12 were discarded.
    • The reported increase in microcephaly incidence in Brazil is concentrated in the Northeast Region.
  • An outbreak of Zika virus in French Polynesia was followed by an increase in the number of CNS malformations in children born between March 2014 and May 2015. A total of 19 cases were reported including eight microcephaly cases compared to the national average of 0 – 2 cases per year.
  • Zika virus is not yet proven to be a cause of the increased incidence of microcephaly in Brazil. However, (i) given the temporal and geographical associations between Zika virus infections and microcephaly, (ii) the repeated discovery of virus in fetal brain tissue, and (iii) in the absence of a compelling alternative hypothesis, a causal role for Zika virus is a strong possibility that is under active investigation, says WHO.

Incidence of Guillain – Barré syndrome (GBS)

In the context of Zika virus circulation, nine countries or territories have reported increased GBS incidence and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases.

  • Reported increase in incidence of GBS cases, with no GBS cases biologically documented of Zika virus infection: El Salvador and Colombia.
  • Reported increase in incidence of GBS cases, with at least one GBS case confirmed with previous Zika virus infection: Brazil, French Polynesia, Suriname and Venezuela.
  • No increase in GBS incidence reported but at least one GBS case confirmed with previous Zika virus infection: Martinique, Panama and Puerto Rico.

Between October 2013 and April 2014, French Polynesia experienced the first Zika virus outbreak ever recorded in the country. During the outbreak, 42 patients were admitted to hospital with GBS. This represents a 20 – fold increase in incidence of GBS in French Polynesia compared with the previous four years.

  • Of the 42 patients, 16 (38%) required admission to an intensive care unit and 12 (29%) received mechanical ventilation. No deaths were reported.
  • The majority of these cases (88%) reported symptomatic Zika virus infection in the days that preceded the onset of neurological symptoms. A recently published formal analysis of these data (case – control study) showed a strong association between Zika infection and GBS .
  • This study is the first large observational study to compare exposure to Zika virus among people with and without GBS and provides important information about the causal role of Zika infection.
  • In 2015 in the state of Bahia in Brazil, 42 GBS cases were reported, among which 26 (62%) had a history of symptoms consistent with Zika virus infection. A total of 1,708 cases of GBS were registered nationwide, representing a 19% increase from the previous year (1,439 cases of GBS in 2014), though not all states reported an increase in incidence.
  • In Colombia, 201 GBS cases with a history of suspected Zika virus infection were reported in the nine weeks to 14 February 2016. Most of the cases are from Norte de Santander and Barranquilla – areas where many of the Zika virus cases have been registered.
  • To date, none of the cases of GBS have been laboratory confirmed for Zika virus infection, or other possible causes, and the patterns of infection and disease by age and sex need confirmation.

Additional information [sourced from who]

Zika Virus

Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Other transmission modes are still under investigation. People with Zika virus disease usually have a mild fever, skin rash (exanthema), and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last f or 2 – 7 days. At present there is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites. Zika virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific region. Zika virus had only been known to cause sporadic infections in humans until 2007, when an outbreak in Micronesia infected 31 people.

Microcephaly

Microcephaly is an uncommon condition where a baby’s head circumference is less than expected based on the average for their age and sex. The condition is usually a result of the failure of the brain to develop properly, and can be caused by genetic or environmental factors such as exposure to toxicins, radiation, or infection during development in the womb. Microcephaly can be present as an isolated condition or may be associated with other symptoms such as convulsions, developmental delays, or feeding difficulties.

Guillain – Barré syndrome

Guillain – Barré syndrome in its typical form is an acute illness of the nerves that produces a lower, bilateral, and symmetrical sensorimotor development deficit. In many cases there is a history of infection prior to the development of the Guillain – Barré syndrome. The a nnual incidence of GBS is estimated to be between 0.4 and 4.0 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year. In North America and Europe GBS is more common in adults and increases steadily with age. Several studies indicate that men tend to be more affected than women.

Resources from WHO

Zika virus http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika

Microcephaly http://www.who.int/emergencies/zi ka – virus/microcephaly/en/

Guillain – Barré syndrome http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/guillain – barre – syndrome/en/

Infants with microcephaly http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/zika/assessment – infants/en/

Guillain – Barré syndrome http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/zika/guillain – barre – syndrome/en/

Breastfeeding http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/zika/breastfeeding/en/

Sexual transmission http://who.int/csr/resources/publications/zika/sexual – transmission – prevention/en/

Vector control http://www.who.int/emergencies/zika – virus/articles/mosquito – control/en/

Blood safety http://who.int/csr/resources/publica tions/zika/safe – blood/en/index.html

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Eighth ZIKV Case Confirmed in Australia

Posted by feww on February 25, 2016

ZIKV infected man staying in area infested with Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Authorities are on high alert in Queensland, Australia after the eighth person in the country contracted Zika virus.

A Rockhampton man has become the eighth Queenslander to be diagnosed with Zika virus, but is the first to have brought it back to an area inhabited by the type of mosquito that could spread it.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the main Zika vector, have been found around the hotel in Rockhampton where the infected patient is staying, prompting the health alert.

“This is the most concerning case of Zika so far in Queensland because it’s someone who has the virus in an area where there is the mosquito capable of transmitting the virus,” said Queensland Health Minister.

Authorities are now spraying chemicals designed to kill mosquitoes in a 200-meter radius of the hotel, said a report.

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ZIKV Infection: Local Transmission in United States

Posted by feww on February 13, 2016

ZIKV infection: Increased risk of fetal microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome —CDC

Aedes aegypti, the most common mosquito vector of ZIKV globally, is present in Puerto Rico. Therefore, the virus is expected to continue to spread throughout Puerto Rico, posing risk of infection to 3.5 million residents, including about 43,000 pregnant women per year.

The first locally acquired case of Zika virus disease in Puerto Rico was identified in early December 2015, and 29 additional laboratory-confirmed cases have been detected since, including in one pregnant woman and in a man with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Zika virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus, spread to the Region of the Americas (Americas) in mid-2015, and appears to be related to congenital microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome (1,2). On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the occurrence of microcephaly cases in association with Zika virus infection to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. On December 31, 2015, Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDH) reported the first locally acquired (index) case of Zika virus disease in a jurisdiction of the United States in a patient from southeastern Puerto Rico. During November 23, 2015–January 28, 2016, passive and enhanced surveillance for Zika virus disease identified 30 laboratory-confirmed cases. Most (93%) patients resided in eastern Puerto Rico or the San Juan metropolitan area. The most frequently reported signs and symptoms were rash (77%), myalgia (77%), arthralgia (73%), and fever (73%). Three (10%) patients were hospitalized. One case occurred in a patient hospitalized for Guillain-Barré syndrome, and one occurred in a pregnant woman. [CDC]

Clinicians in Puerto Rico are now required to report all cases of microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and suspected Zika virus infection to PRDH. “Other adverse reproductive outcomes, including fetal demise associated with Zika virus infection, should be reported to PRDH.”

Index case. The first case of Zika virus disease identified in Puerto Rico occurred in a man aged 80 years with multiple chronic medical conditions, who reported onset of symptoms on November 23, 2015.

Eight days after illness onset, he was evaluated in a hospital emergency department for progressive weakness after several days of watery, nonbloody diarrhea, recent episodes of falling, shoulder pain, chills, malaise, and abdominal pain. He did not report myalgia, headache, or retro-orbital pain. He was febrile, tachycardic, tachypneic, and hypotensive, with bilateral erythematous sclera. Laboratory results revealed leukocytosis with a predominance of neutrophils; hemoconcentration; thrombocytopenia; elevated serum transaminases, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine; hyponatremia; and hypoglycemia. He received a diagnosis of sepsis, was admitted to the intensive care unit for fluid resuscitation and monitoring, and was treated with broad spectrum antibiotics. Diagnostic considerations included leptospirosis and dengue. He experienced respiratory decompensation requiring intubation and 5 days of mechanical ventilation. He was hospitalized for 2 weeks, during which time he underwent an extensive evaluation. Blood and stool cultures were negative, as were serologic tests for human immunodeficiency virus, Leptospira, and Strongyloides. Schistosoma immunoglobulin G titers were elevated, for which praziquantel was administered. On December 2, serum was collected for dengue and chikungunya diagnostic testing, and was positive for anti-dengue virus IgM, negative for anti-chikungunya virus IgM, and negative for detection of dengue virus and chikungunya virus RNA. Because a hospital-based enhanced surveillance protocol was in place for detection of Zika virus, the same serum specimen was tested for Zika virus infection by RT-PCR with a positive result. Confirmatory molecular diagnostic testing was performed at CDC. Detection of anti-dengue virus IgM antibody likely was a result of cross-reactive anti-Zika virus IgM antibody. Although no pathogen other than Zika virus was identified, the patient’s clinical course suggests that he also had an occult bacterial infection. Read more…

Suggested citation: Thomas DL, Sharp TM, Torres J, et al. Local Transmission of Zika Virus — Puerto Rico, November 23, 2015–January 28, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65(Early Release):1–6. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6506e2er

Disease Outbreak News – 12 February 2016  – Mirrored from WHO

Sexually transmitted ZIKV infection in Dallas, Texas

On 5 February 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the United States of America notified PAHO/WHO of a probable case of sexual transmission of Zika virus.

Person A, a resident of Dallas, Texas, travelled to Venezuela for one week between late December and the beginning of January. Several days after returning to the United States, Person A developed symptoms consistent with Zika virus infection, including fever, rash, conjunctivitis, and malaise. One day prior to symptom onset and once during the symptomatic period, Person A had sex with Person B (non-traveller). Approximately one week after the onset of illness in Person A, Person B developed symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease, including fever, pruritic rash, conjunctivitis, small joint arthralgia and malaise.

Laboratory tests confirmed Zika virus infection in both Person A and Person B. Samples collected from Person A at 14 days after symptom onset and from Person B at 4 and 7 days after illness onset had evidence of Zika virus IgM and neutralizing antibodies. Additional tests are being carried out. Local meteorological conditions at the time would not have supported mosquito activity; furthermore, entomological sampling that was conducted in the concerned area yielded no mosquitoes. Read more…

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ZIKV: Health Emergency Declared in 4 Florida Counties

Posted by feww on February 4, 2016

Florida Governor Declares Health Emergency in Four Counties

Gov. Scott has signed Executive Order 16-29 directing Florida State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong to declare a public health emergency in the four counties which have the Zika virus, according to the governor’s website.

The Executive Order follows the discovery of a total of nine travel-associated cases (defined as disease believed to be contracted outside of the state) of the Zika virus across Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa Counties.

“Today I am directing Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong to declare a public health emergency in the four counties that have individuals with the Zika virus.  Although Florida’s current nine Zika cases were travel-related, we have to ensure Florida is prepared and stays ahead of the spread of the Zika virus in our state.  Our Department of Health will continue to be in constant communication with all county health offices, hospitals and the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We know that we must be prepared for the worst even as we hope for the best,” said Scott on Wednesday.

To view the Executive Order, click HERE.

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.

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

Zika Travel Notices

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. In January, 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.]

Related Links

Additional Links

ZIKV

DENGUE

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ZIKV Found in Australian Travelers Returning from S. America

Posted by feww on January 26, 2016

Submitted by a reader – Edited by FEWW

Australians authorities echo warning to travelers planing to visit 22 countries affected by ZIKV

Australian health experts report mosquito-borne Zika virus (ZIKV), linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil, has already been discovered in Australia in travelers returning from South America, said a report.

For the virus to spread, however, it would require specific species of mosquitoes to act as a vector. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, one such vector, is currently found only in far north Queensland.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued new advice warning Australians, particularly pregnant women, to reconsider plans to travel to 22 countries affected by the virus, including many in South and Central America, and the Pacific island nation Samoa.

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

The new travel advice comes in response to a warning by the World Health Organisation that Zika virus is now likely to spread to all countries in South, Central and North America except Canada and Chile. [Blog Moderators have not found any evidence to confirm either PAHO or WHO has issued a warning to this effect. This appears to be media sensationalism at best, or a desperate ruse designed for phishing more information from independent sources. —Editor]

At least 3,893 suspected cases of microcephaly had occurred in Brazil as of January 22, 2016, or over 30 times more than in any year since 2010 and equivalent to 1 to 2 per cent of all newborns in the state of Pernambuco, one of the worst-hit areas, said WHO.

ZIKV was first detected in a monkey in Zika forest near Lake Victoria, Uganda, in 1947.

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.

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 as dengue virus.]

Related Links

Additional Links

ZIKV

DENGUE

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Mutant Mosquito Swarms to Be Unleashed in Florida

Posted by feww on December 8, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,190 Days Left 

[December 8, 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,190 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 ...

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes? What could possibly go wrong?!

Aedes aegypti, aka the yellow fever mosquito, is a vector for transmitting several tropical disease viruses including dengue fever, Chikungunya (CHIKV) and yellow fever.


This 2006 photograph depicts a female Aedes aegypti mosquito as she acquires  a blood meal from her human host, the biomedical photographer, James Gathany, at the Centers for Disease Control.  Dengue fever is caused by four virus strains spread by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. (Photo Credit: James Gathany/University of Notre Dame).

  • Dengue fever is a virus-caused tropical disease that is spread by mosquitoes, especially Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
  • Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are an invasive, domestic species with tropical and subtropical worldwide distribution that originated in Africa.
  • The mosquito aquatic cycle, the life cycle from egg to larvae, pupae, and to an adult mosquito, takes 7-8 days and occurs in water.
  • The life span for adult mosquitoes is about 3-4 weeks.
  • Only the female mosquito bites for blood, which she needs to produce eggs.
  • Female mosquitoes lay dozens of eggs up to 5 times during their life time.
  • Florida scientists have proposed to unleash swarms of genetically modified male mosquitoes into the ecosystem in the hope that the mutant mosquitoes, ‘dubbed Frankenflies,’ would mate with healthy females and pass on their lab-engineered deadly birth defects.
  • A Florida Keys resident has posted a petition, “Say No to Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Release in the Florida Keys,” on Change.org.
    • “Even though the local community in the Florida Keys has spoken – we even passed an ordinance demanding more testing – Oxitec is trying to use a loophole by applying to the FDA for an ‘animal bug’ patent. This could mean these mutant mosquitoes could be released at any point against the wishes of locals and the scientific community. We need to make sure the FDA does not approve Oxitec’s patent.” The petition says.“Nearly all experiments with genetically-modified crops have eventually resulted in unintended consequences: superweeds more resistant to herbicides, mutated and resistant insects also collateral damage to ecosystems. A recent news story reported that the monarch butterfly population is down by half in areas where Roundup Ready GM crops are doused with ultra-high levels of herbicides that wipe out the monarch’s favorite milkweed plant.”

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

GLOBAL WARNING

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State of emergency in Marshall Islands as dengue outbreak spirals

Posted by feww on October 29, 2011

Warmer, wetter weather boosting spread of mosquito-borne infectious diseases

Marshall Islands declare state of emergency as dengue fever outbreak spreads

Health officials in Majuro, Marshall Islands have declared a state of emergency as the outbreak of dengue fever cases doubles in two days.

Disaster Calendar 2011 – October 29

[October 29, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,600 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • Majuro, Marshall Islands. The first case of dengue fever, an infectious tropical disease, was diagnosed at Majuro Hospital last week. The reported cases have now spiraled to at least 63, doubling in the past two days.
    • Dengue fever is a virus-caused disease that is spread by mosquitoes.
    • The disease’s flu-like symptoms include fatigue, fever, headache, nausea, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, muscle aches, joint pains and a skin rash that resembles measles.
    • The infection can develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, or result in dengue shock syndrome, leading to dangerously low blood pressure.
    • Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a severe, potentially deadly infection spread by certain species of mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus).
    • Symptoms of DHF are similar to  to those of dengue fever, but after several days the symptoms are followed by a shock -like state.
    • Shock could cause death.
    • DHF has killed hundreds of people in Pakistan, India, China and other SE Asian countries this year so far.
    • Increases in temperature, precipitation, and humidity are exponentially boosting vector abundance and disease incidences throughout the world.
  • Lahore, Pakistan. At least 31,036 cases of dengue fever have been recorded in Lahore alone, a report said.
    •  Pakistan’s Health Department has “confirmed four deaths, including two from Lahore, due to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) during the last 24 hours, which brought total figure of deaths to 290 in Punjab and 253 in Lahore.”
    • “The dengue fever claimed four more lives on Friday, which brought the death count to 317 in the provincial metropolis.” Said the report.
  • USA. Mosquito-Borne Dengue Fever Threat Spreading in the Americas: Dengue Fever Vulnerability in the United States


Dengue vulnerability in the United States. Among the social and environmental factors that increase community vulnerability to dengue and other infectious diseases are poor municipal infrastructure and frequent storm damage to homes. Red areas of the map show U.S. counties that have reported the presence of one or both of the mosquito species (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) that can potentially transmit dengue fever; blue regions highlight the area encompassing most of the positive counties. Numbers of suspected cases of dengue infection reported from 1995–2005, inclusive, are shown below each state name. Reported counts of suspected dengue fever cases are also included for the six Mexican states that border the United States. Source: NRDC

  • Global Impact. Dengue fever and its complications cause about 100 million infections, resulting in  500,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths annually in over 100 countries.
    • Dengue incidences have multiplied by 30-fold in less than 5 decades globally.
    • The worst hit areas are India, Pakistan, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and Africa.
    • Currently, about 2.5 people are at risk of for dengue because of climate change.
    • “Epidemic outbreaks during 2007 in Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Bolivia, and Guyana affected hundreds of thousands,” NRDC report said.
    • About 56 percent of Americans (175 million people, as of posting) live in counties where one or both of the mosquito species that can transmit dengue fever have become established.

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