Maybe we should just skip it, huh?
"Amid Zika crisis, Brazil urges pregnant women to be cautious with a kiss" by Jenny Barchfield and Jamey Keaten Associated Press February 05, 2016
RIO DE JANEIRO — In a sign of mounting global concern over the Zika virus, health officials on Friday warned pregnant women to think twice about the lips they kiss and called on men to use condoms with pregnant partners if they have visited countries where the virus is present.
UN officials also called on many Catholic-majority countries in Latin America to loosen their abortion laws to allow women to terminate pregnancies if they fear the fetus may be at risk for a rare birth defect that causes brain damage and an abnormally small head, which may be linked to the virus.
See: Zika has Brazilians re-examining strict abortion laws
Part of the agenda or just side benefit?
The flurry of recommendations began in Brazil, where a top health official warned pregnant women to be cautious with their kisses.
Oh, I am!
Paulo Gadelha, president of the Fiocruz research institute, said at a news conference that scientists have found live virus in saliva and urine samples, and the possibility it could be spread by the two body fluids requires further study.
Now it is not sounding like GE mosquitos at all; it's sounding like something cooked up in a lab.
He said that calls for special precaution to be taken with pregnant women, and suggested they avoid kissing people other than a regular partner or sharing cutlery, glasses, and plates with people who have symptoms of the virus.
More fear, and don't go out to eat anywhere.
‘‘This is not a generalized public health measure, for the love of God,’’ he added, stressing both the seriousness of the discovery and reality that it was too soon to say how it could impact the epidemic.
Friday’s announcement coincided with the start of Carnival, a five-day-long bacchanalia that sees millions of people take part in nonstop, alcohol-fueled parties where kissing as many people as possible is a top pastime.
Gadelha underscored that the discovery needn’t alter Carnival plans for anyone but pregnant women.
Gadelha also stressed that the Aedes aegpyti mosquito, which spreads dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever as well as Zika, remains the virus’s main vector and said the fight against the mosquito should be a top priority.
That is looking more and more like a limited hangout and contributing factor when the likely culprit is likely the unmentioned vaccine that is una$$ailable for the obviou$ rea$ons.
Myrna Bonaldo, who headed the Fiocruz team, said she was particularly surprised the virus was found in urine because Zika is generally thought not to thrive in acidic mediums.
‘‘Each discovery is a surprise and a new find for us,’’ she said. ‘‘For us scientists, it’s extremely challenging to understand Zika virus.’’
Meanwhile, in Geneva, spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly said the UN high commissioner for human rights was asking governments in Zika-affected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to repeal any policies that restrict access to sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion.
‘‘How can they . . . not offer [women] . . . the possibility to stop their pregnancies if they wish?’’ she said.
Pouilly gave the example of El Salvador, where about a quarter of women had experienced physical or sexual violence in the past year.
‘‘So that also shows that many of these pregnancies are out of their control and countries obviously have to take that into account,’’ she said.
Pouilly said that safe abortion services should be provided to the full extent of the law. ‘‘The key point is that women should have the choice and [make] informed decisions,’’ she said.
The National Conference of Bishops in Brazil, the South American country hardest hit by Zika, had no immediate comment on calls to loosen abortion laws. However, in a statement issued Thursday, the bishops said that the World Health Organization’s declaration earlier this week that Zika was an international emergency didn’t justify abortion.
Meanwhile, US health officials said men who have visited an area with Zika should use condoms if they have sex with a pregnant woman — for the entire duration of the pregnancy.
How about abstaining?
The guidance issued Friday also says men might consider abstaining or using condoms even if they have sex with a woman who isn’t pregnant.
Zika virus disease is mainly spread by mosquitoes. But US health officials detected a case of sexual transmission of the disease in Texas this week, and in Brazil, officials said they had confirmed the virus was contracted via blood transfusions. For most people who catch the virus, it causes mild or no symptoms.
US officials have recommended pregnant women postpone trips to more than two dozen countries with Zika outbreaks, mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean. Several Latin American nations have urged women to postpone pregnancies.
To date, the mosquito-borne virus has spread to more than 20 countries in the Americas.
One of those is Colombia, where health officials announced Friday that three people had died of Guillain-Barre syndrome after contracting the Zika virus. The country’s National Health Institute director, Martha Lucia Ospina, said all three victims were confirmed to have been infected with Zika. Their deaths, she said, shows the virus can kill.
Are we on the verge of a global genocide?
Still, most international experts are cautious about whether Zika can trigger Guillain-Barre, a rare syndrome that causes complete paralysis, because other infections and conditions can lead to the illness.
This Blog Born Again
Feeling Zika Friday
More like a slap in the face.
"Florida, vulnerable to Zika virus, gets ready for fight" by Jennifer Kay Associated Press February 04, 2016
MIAMI — Florida’s warm climate, year-round mosquitoes and revolving door of international travelers make it vulnerable to the Zika virus, but local governments here have a history of fighting off outbreaks before they become widespread.
A crucial component has been aggressively urging people to dump or cover anything on their property that holds water so they don’t end up raising mosquitoes that spread the virus through bites. A rainy, humid winter already had mosquito control officials on alert statewide and door-to-door inspections have been increased in neighborhoods where 12 Zika cases have been reported, all from people who have traveled abroad.
Gov. Rick Scott called for more vigilance Thursday, and he said his emergency health declaration for five counties was much like getting ready for hurricane. He sought to assure people that Florida, a hub for cruises and flights to Central and South America where the outbreak is, was safe.
But in preparing for the worst, the governor asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to supply 1,000 kits to test for viral antibodies in pregnant women and new mothers who have shown Zika symptoms after traveling to affected countries. The state has about 500 tests on hand.
‘‘With 20 million people and over 100 million tourists, we need the CDC to immediately provide these kits to Florida so we can protect our families and of course all of our visitors,’’ Scott said at a news conference in Tampa.
1,000 kits for 120 million people?
He also wants the CDC to help train Florida hospital workers to identify Zika symptoms.
Zika usually is transmitted through bites from infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are common in Florida, along the Gulf Coast and states that border Mexico. So far, the only recent case that has been transmitted within the U.S. is believed to have occurred in Texas through sex.
Gonzalo Vazquez, an environmental science researcher at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, said any transmission beyond Florida is likely to remain tightly contained because most tourists returning north aren’t likely to be bitten by any mosquitoes during the winter. That may change as the seasons change, though.
‘‘Timing is essential,’’ Vazquez said.
Typically, only a fifth of those afflicted with Zika notice its mild symptoms, including a moderate fever and a rash.
Amid an ongoing Zika outbreak, Brazilian authorities say they have detected a spike in cases of microcephaly, which leaves infants with unusually small heads and can result in brain damage and other developmental and health problems. However, the link between Zika and microcephaly is as yet unproven.
That's what the "conspiracy" bloggers said!
There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika.
But don't worry, the pharmaceuticals will soon begetting billions of tax dollars to develop one.
Experts say the best way to stop its spread is to controlling the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also carries dengue fever and chikungunya.
They mean spraying.
Chikungunya infected a million people in the Caribbean in 2014, and while 452 travel-related cases were documented in Florida that year, just 11 people contracted the virus in the state. Last year, no locally acquired cases of chikungunya were reported, though 73 people picked up the virus while traveling.
The state had a spike in dengue cases in 2013, with 22 people contracting the virus in Martin County. But the number of locally acquired cases statewide dropped to six the following year and just one last year.
So far, county mosquito control officials say their Zika response has followed protocols for other Aedes aegypti-related outbreaks: Tipping and tossing anything holding even small amounts of water, since the mosquitoes live largely inside homes and can lay eggs in a bottle-cap or shallow puddles.
‘‘There’s no need for us to do area-wide spraying. That’s not going to be effective,’’ said Chalmers Vasquez, operations manager for Miami-Dade County mosquito control.
Tell it to Brazil!
Or are they going to spray and simply deny it and tell us they didn't?
I think it would be best to cancel the trip anyway:
"Schools cancel trips to Zika-affected countries" by Kay Lazar Globe Staff February 04, 2016
The explosive spread of the once-obscure virus through more than two dozen countries, combined with news that Zika apparently can be spread through sexual transmission, is prompting universities and Boston’s public schools to send out alerts and reschedule travel.
Concerns have grown worldwide as health authorities this week reported a case of Zika in Texas spread through sexual contact. Health officials had thought the virus was transmitted only through the bite of an infected mosquito....
“Now that there is a case that was sexually transmitted, this becomes a very different thing.”
Related: Sexually-transmitted Zika case confirmed in Texas
It's ‘‘a game-changer.’’
And speaking of such....
"The top officers in the Army and Marine Corps testified on Tuesday that they believe it is time for women to register for future military drafts, following the Pentagon’s recent decision to open all jobs in combat units to female service members."
Maybe you gals can even become Navy SEALS.
Got a few pecks for the morning:
"Soldiers collect trash as they take part in cleaning of the streets, gardens and homes as part of the city's efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus."
I had to go to India to get that printed paper photo.
Also see: Zika is a reproductive rights issue
Whatever it is, it is one huge agenda shove on multiple levels.
So what do you think will happen to the nurseries?