Scientist Who Mapped U.S. Zika Risk Now Working on Awareness App

(Woman) — Approaching 2016 summer olympic games Brazil has been surrounded by concerns about the outbreak of the Zika virus since last year.

This particular Olympic hurdle may actually be lower than feared, but Brazil in the Southern Hemisphere will be cooler in August, with the least rainfall and the lowest risk.

Kacey Ernst,Associate professor Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department and University of Arizona Something else is also a good omen: the potential for increased resistance in Brazil’s population.

“The infection occurred at a relatively high level,” Ernst said in a recent telephone interview. “We do not know exactly what percentage of the population must be infected and recovered in order to produce what is called herd immunity or community immunity, but most of the population was previously infected. In some cases, we believe that immunity from the dicavirus is complete. Once you have it, you will never get it again. That is the current practical knowledge. “

But that means the opposite is true in the United States, where temperatures continue to rise as summer approaches. The first cases of female-to-male sexually transmitted infections have recently been reported.

To support the fight against Zika, Ernst model Risk of Zika Fever in the U.S. Using meteorological data over the last decade, track the abundance of Aedes aegypti in 50 U.S. cities within mosquito habitable range, along with travel data and socio-economic factors, possible transmission I evaluated the sex.

“All the cities we surveyed were able to support certain Aedes aegypti populations during the summer,” says Ernst. However, her model found that only the southernmost states, such as Texas and Florida, maintained mosquitoes until winter.

Currently, Ernst is the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Skoll Global Threat Fund Develop an app that allows people to report symptoms.

“If we can identify when these diseases first occurred, we can put significant control and pressure around those first cases to minimize the possibility of further spread,” Ernst said. say.

This app also helps educate people about mosquitoes and the viruses they infect.

About the surrounding area

“Most of us in the United States are lucky to be around,” says Ernst. “But of course, in sexual communication, it doesn’t matter where you live.”

As of July 13 CDC 1,306 Zika fever have been identified in 50 states in the United States. All of this was due to a trip outside the United States. But last week, the Florida Department of Health reported that it was investigating two possibilities. Case Mosquito-borne Zika contraction, if confirmed, will be the first such case in the Americas.

The current outbreak is widely reported, but it is certainly not the first.The virusNamed after the Ugandan forest, it was first discovered in humans in 1952 and is known to occur in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

“It wasn’t even a relationship between Brazil and microcephaly. [a birth defect] It was speculated that it had leapt to the forefront of people’s consciousness and interest, “Ernst says.

Symptoms According to the CDC, viruses include fever, rashes, joint pain, conjunctivitis, and in some cases muscle and headaches.

Usually, Zika virus expansion It is transmitted by mosquito bites, especially from Aedes aegypti, but it may also be transmitted by sexual intercourse, pregnancy from a pregnant woman to the fetus, or by blood transfusion, but it has not been confirmed yet.

The virus is blood Less than 2 weeks semen Up to 2 months after infection. Pregnant women are of greatest concern because of the link between Zika virus and birth defects.As reported in USA TodayAs of the end of June, seven babies with birth defects were born in the United States, and the virus has led to six pregnancy losses, including both miscarriage and abortion.

Abortion restrictions

The right to abortion has already been targeted by many lawmakers across the country, which can make it difficult for pregnant women infected with deer to have an abortion. Abortion restrictions Politico Reportedly, it is hindering research into the Zika virus, which benefits significantly from fetal tissue. Florida, one of the states most at risk of local Zika infections, has enacted an anti-abortion law that completely blocks the donations of aborted organizations.

As of July 14, Brazil had 1,687 cases of deca-related microcephaly. reportAbortion is legal in only three situations: when it threatens the life of a pregnant woman, in the case of rape, and when the fetus is diagnosed with anencephaly, a disorder in which the fetus begins to develop without most of the brain and head.

Brazilian women’s group is now Challenge Makes current abortion laws and abortions for women infected with deer a legal option.

For now, the protocol is to carefully monitor women and their fetuses if a pregnant woman is diagnosed with deer, unfortunately there is currently no cure for the deer infection.

As Science friday Reportedly, several vaccines are under development, but after Congress has not approved them. Financing July Zika virus research could slow progress towards vaccine development. Parliament is currently adjourned until September. In short, government funding opportunities must wait until then.

Zika fever itself is not new, but reports of virus-induced microcephaly are new. Microcephaly Is a birth defect characterized by being smaller than the baby’s average head size, which is likely due to underdeveloped brain.

Links to microcephaly may have existed in other parts of the world, but Ernst says Brazil’s large population and huge number of cases helped detect it... “Microcephaly is relatively rare, so if the population is very large, these events will be more visible,” she says.

Best action plan

Zika fever can cause microcephaly, but it does not occur in all infected pregnant women. Disease changes that are not yet understood.

For now, the best action plan is to prevent Zika fever. If you are pregnant, it means that you do not travel to known high-risk Jika areas and do not have unprotected sexual intercourse with those who have them. It is also important to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Carla MagwireIn obstetrics and gynecology Miller School of Medicine, University of MiamiWe hope to see more research on Zika fever in the near future.

“I think the problem with Zika fever is so scary because there aren’t many answers,” Magwire said in a recent telephone interview. .. “

On the other hand, if you live in an area like Florida where local infections can begin, she offers this advice. “We recommend mosquito repellents, long sleeves and trousers, and avoid walking at dusk or dawn when mosquitoes are rampant,” says Magwire.

She also suggests using condoms or avoiding sexual intercourse altogether if your partner travels to areas with the Zika virus.Find these for more information on mosquito repellents Environmental Protection Agency When Consumer report website.

Ernst also confirmed that people in areas at risk of Zika fever had intact windows and door screens, and each time it rained, emptied a container of water, where mosquitoes lay their eggs. I am proposing to do it. For standing water that cannot be removed, such as small water features or ananas flowers that retain enough water for mosquitoes to breed, we suggest using Bti pellets that can be purchased from hardware stores. BtiA type of bacterium that kills mosquito larvae and is safe for humans and pets.

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Written by Fem Society

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