Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sick o' Zika Scare

I do feel bad for the guinea pig pregnancies resulting in defective births, but at least certain $ectors, intere$ts, and agendas benefited:

"Obama to ask Congress for $1.8 billion to combat Zika virus" by Steven Mufson Washington Post   February 09, 2016

WASHINGTON — The additional funding would help expand programs that control mosquitoes, which transmit the virus, and also support research into vaccines and new public education programs, particularly for pregnant women, Obama said in an interview Monday on CBS.

Hours later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that its emergency operations center in Atlanta was on its highest level of alert.

CDC Director Tom Frieden said in an interview Monday, ‘‘Reducing the risk from Zika isn’t going to be quick and it isn’t going to be easy. Mosquitoes are very hard to control.’’

Yeah, I imagine it's like herding cats but more on all that later. What I'm looking for now is any acknowledgement of the GMO mosquitoes that were introduced in to the equation, either as a cause or attempt to cure. It's already been hung out there on a limited basis.

The link to the potentially devastating birth outcomes is a ‘‘completely unprecedented phenomenon,’’ he said. ‘‘Our key priority is reducing the risk to pregnant women and their infants.’’

Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa are likely to have widespread transmission of Zika because they are home to large populations of the mosquito species considered the primary ‘‘vector’’ for spreading the virus. 

That's the official story and line. You believe it?

‘‘The risk to Puerto Rico is significant,’’ Frieden said. The territory, already in the grip of a debt crisis, has at least 20 cases in which individuals have been infected without leaving the United States.

Puerto Rico also has had widespread outbreaks of dengue fever, another virus transmitted by the same type of mosquito. Health experts say the pattern of dengue’s spread is a likely indicator for Zika.

The bulk of the money the administration is requesting, $828 million, would go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The request also includes $250 million for a one-year increase in Medicaid funds for Puerto Rico. 

Just one of their many problems right now. 


"More than 500 passengers and crew were evacuated on Wednesday from a burning ship about a mile off Puerto Rico’s north coast, and many required medical care, though there were no reported fatalities. The fire continued to burn aboard the Caribbean Fantasy, a combination cruise and ferry ship, as the US Coast Guard brought passengers into the San Juan harbor while helicopters whirred overheard. Other agencies and even private vessels joined in the effort before firefighters were ordered to abandon the ship. ‘‘The boat’s systems have collapsed. It’s not safe anymore to work inside the boat,’’ said Angel Crespo, director of Puerto Rico’s Emergency Management Agency. Gyno Funes said he was one of two mechanics in the engine room when a hose carrying fuel burst open and caught on fire. ‘‘We were trying to extinguish it for two hours, but couldn’t,’’ said the other mechanic, Marlon Doblado, after the two reached shore. Dominican passenger Maria Prensa said she was collecting her luggage when she smelled smoke. ‘‘I asked and they told me it was nothing, that it was under control,’’ she said...."

Good luck getting treated at the hospitals!

The administration would pump $200 million into accelerated vaccine and testing techniques for Zika through the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. And $210 million would go to a new fund to respond to outbreaks if they appear in the United States.

And what pharmaceuticals will benefit from that?

The rest of the money would help other countries respond to the virus. It would include $335 million for the US Agency for International Development and $41 million for the State Department to respond across South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

AID = CIA, and the whole world knows it (as well as State Department embassies now functioning as CIA stations). 

Haven't the people down there had enough "help" from up north?

Fauci said that if Congress did not appropriate the money, the NIH would be forced to divert money from other projects. 

Is that legal and divert from where?

Some Republicans are opposed to the amount of funding the administration has proposed. Representative Chris Stewart, Republican of Utah, last week introduced legislation that would let federal agencies use unused funds allocated to fight the Ebola virus. He said that as of September, there was approximately $1.4 billion remaining.

Yeah, money lying around while food stamps are cut and health costs balloon thanks to Obummer!

This administration is coming to an end in utter failure, from the loss of Turkey, to most nations in the world beginning to turn subtly turn away from the U.S., to the economy cratering, and his health plan collapsing like trade center tower. 

The pre$$ is, of course, hiding all that and saying things are going pretty good because to say otherwise would mean President Trump.

As for Ebola, that fake fraud (the CNN video, remember?) has receded down the memory hole. Must be mission accomplished re: money and militarism, and rather than throw a flu $care at us every five years, they've halved it to two. Pharmaceutical profits and paychecks must need some boosting.

But on Friday, Senate Democrats wrote to Obama, urging him to develop a national strategy for combating Zika that would include multiple agencies.

Always framed with war terminology.

In Brazil, the epicenter of the outbreak in the Americas....

They are having a good old time with the Games, right?


Spring was a while away then, but when it came:

"Democrats are pressing top Senate Republicans to stop dragging their feet and act immediately on President Obama’s request for $1.9 billion to combat the Zika virus.  ‘‘This story, the Zika virus and its spread through mosquitoes and the risk that it poses to pregnant women, is going to be dominating the news,’’ White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Friday."


It's almost as if the pre$$ were a mouthpiece for the government!

"Zika expected to hit South hard" by Mike Stobbe Associated Press  May 11, 2016

NEW YORK — There’s little doubt: Zika is coming to the continental United States, bringing frightening birth defects — and, most likely, newly urgent discussions about abortion and contraception.

Ah, yes, the population control/global genocide aspect to all this.

Fearful they might bear children who suffer from brain-damaging birth defects caused by Zika, more women are expected to look for ways to prevent or end pregnancies. But the highest risk of Zika spreading is in Southern states where long-lasting birth control and abortions are harder to procure, and where a mosquito that transmits the virus already is plentiful.

“I think it’s really important, facing this potential for Zika transmission in the US, to be thoughtful and prepared to have straightforward conversations about reproductive health services,” said Dr. Christine Curry, a University of Miami obstetrician who has been treating women concerned about Zika infection.

The issues already have been raised in Latin America, epicenter of the Zika epidemic and home to numerous countries where abortion is illegal.

Zika is mainly spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, but that kind of transmission has not yet been seen in the US mainland. Most of the 472 reported infections in the 50 states have been seen in people who traveled to — and were infected in — Zika outbreak countries. Mosquitoes have already been spreading the virus in Puerto Rico and two other subtropical US territories.

I no longer believe that; I think it was the vaccine instead. 

The mosquito story is a limited hangout most people believe given received history.

Experts think that will happen elsewhere in the United States in the months ahead, when hot weather hits and mosquito populations boom.

Thankfully, it has been so dry they never had a chance.

They don’t expect Zika to sweep the US mainland the way it spread through some Latin American and Caribbean countries. A colder climate limits the range of Aedes aegypti, and the greater use of air conditioning and window screens will probably lessen its effect even in the Southern states where transmission is most likely. 

Of course, it was the hottest year ever (poot)!

The betting money is on clusters of cases limited to a few states — most likely Florida, Texas, or Hawaii, and as the risk gets larger, at some point more women might think about abortion, experts say.



Complicating the decision: Even in cases when women are infected early in their pregnancy, ultrasound exams of fetuses have not shown signs of Zika-related birth defects until after 20 weeks — a point at which destruction of the fetus would be considered a “late-term abortion.”


Late-term abortions are more expensive, can be riskier for the mother, and involve a more developed fetus. Termination may not be an option for these women,” said Dr. Jeanne Sheffield, a Johns Hopkins University obstetrician who has advised the CDC on Zika-related pregnancy issues.


The specter of any Zika-driven abortions is alarming, said the Rev. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “The child in the womb is a patient too, and killing one’s patient is never an appropriate response,” he said in a statement.

Meet Baby Duda.

Though the US Supreme Court famously ruled abortion is legal in 1973, the last decade has seen state legislatures pass a wave of abortion limitations and restrictions, including when during a pregnancy abortions can be done, and what techniques can be used. The number of clinics, hospitals and doctors’ offices that perform abortions has been shrinking, with notable declines in some of the states most likely to see Zika outbreaks.

A closely related topic is birth control.

Nearly half of US pregnancies are unintended....

That takes the CDC incompetence and Planned Parenthood selling of fetal tissue out of view, doesn't it?


Looks like a premature bite:

"The first person in the state to come down with Zika was identified in January as a Boston man. The virus is spread primarily by the bites of certain species of mosquitoes, but doctors have identified a few cases of sexual transmission. Otherwise, Zika is a not a big worry." 

I'm not a $cienti$t, but the sexual transmission thing would seem to indicate an engineered and developed entity.

Not a big worry, huh?

Zika infection shocks pregnant Connecticut girl, 17, back from Honduras but she vows to keep baby

Had to go to Japan to get it.

"US wants citizen-scientists to help fight Zika" Associated Press  May 16, 2016

MIAMI — The mosquitoes that can spread Zika are already buzzing among us. The US government could use some help figuring out where.

I've been dispensing advice for ten years and they don't seem to be to interested.

No experience is necessary for what the Department of Agriculture envisions as a nationwide experiment in citizen-science. Teenagers already have proven themselves up to the task in tryouts involving a small number of high school students and science teachers.

Now it’s time for the Invasive Mosquito Project to scale up and fast, since Zika has been linked to serious birth defects and health officials are preparing for the possibility of small US outbreaks. But there’s little money in government budgets to track its spread.

‘‘We don’t have a lot of data — good, solid data,’’ said John-Paul Mutebi, an entomologist with the US Centers for Disease Control.

Volunteers will collect mosquito eggs in their communities and upload data to populate an online map, which will provide real-time information about hot spots to help researchers and mosquito controllers respond.


Here is something that is guaranteed to scare the shit out of you:

Zika has spread to Europe

whole cloud of 'em crossed the sea to get there!

Meanwhile, over here "the number of pregnant women in the United States infected with Zika virus is suddenly tripling, due to a change in how the government is reporting cases."

That is ONE WAY to CREATE a CRISIS! Alter the measurements and move the goalposts.

That is SOP here!!!

Trying to get jump on Zika preparations with money in limbo

Yup, it's a big trough to feed at! 

Baby born in US to Honduran mom with Zika has birth defect

Florida: Disaster coming without help on Zika fight

BU lab temporarily halts TB research after safety lapse

Says public was never in danger.

Vaccine policy triggers Baystate Medical discrimination suit

Why wouldn't the staff want the shot?

Does your restaurant know what to do if you have a peanut allergy?

Some have theorized, and rightly so, that the peanut adjuvants added to the vaccines are responsible for autism and have added to allergy outbreaks passed off as contamination.  There are lawsuits pending over the mysteries of food allergies, with a quintessential Boston case study looking into the matter.

"Zika fears spur a booming market for questionable products" by Rebecca Robbins, June 19, 2016

Entrepreneurs across the country are rushing to turn fears of the Zika virus into a sales tool, flooding the market with a slew of products, some of them unproven and questionable, that promise to keep consumers safe.

OMG, look at who is talking!! Lying pot kettle war paper!!!

RelatedExperimental Zika vaccine is approved for clinical trials for first time in US

Did you see who they are trying it out on first?

There is no vaccine for the Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes or through sexual contact, and which can cause birth defects and temporary paralysis. The CDC recommends simple tips to lower risk: Wear long sleeves and long pants. Get rid of standing water. Use condoms. Wear repellent.

That is what caused it.

And most effective repellent includes synthetic chemicals.

DEET, which was originally developed by the US Army, has been used in products marketed to the public since 1957. Experts agree that it is safe, including for pregnant women; that conclusion was upheld by a large 2002 study and a 2014 review by the EPA.

So were are told!

The chemical is not without its drawbacks: It’s known to smell bad, though manufacturers have, in recent years, taken steps to make the aroma more pleasant. And there have been case reports of adverse effects including neuropathy, or numbness and pain in hands and feet.

But experts say these side effects are generally the result of misuse....

I would't use anything recommended by this government or it's pre$$!


Yup, let the Games begin!

Senate reaches deal on Zika funding; House Republicans ready proposal

Summer's here, and the time is right....

"Bipartisan talks on Zika virus break down ahead recess" by Kelsey Snell Washington Post   June 23, 2016

WASHINGTON — The House voted Thursday morning to approve a $1.1 billion package to fight the Zika virus.

But the measure was the product of a deal between House and Senate Republicans and Democrats do not support it, meaning lawmakers are once again headed home without a tool aimed at fighting Zika at the height of mosquito season.

Democrats abandoned negotiations on Wednesday in part because Republicans insisted that funding for the Zika measure be partially paid for by cuts to the Affordable Care Act and by shifting more than $100 million from the Ebola emergency fund, Democratic aides said.

They could face some blowback while at home with their constituents for failing to craft a measure that can pass both the House and Senate before leaving town. The virus is linked to severe birth defects in babies of some pregnant women who are infected.

Three women on the US mainland have given birth to infants with birth defects related to the Zika virus. The US Centers for Disease Control is currently monitoring 234 women on the US mainland and another 189 with Zika in Puerto Rico

Democrats were also upset the GOP legislation would prevent Zika funding from being sent to Planned Parenthood. Democrats also objected to a measure that would allow pesticides to be used for mosquitos without a permit for 180 days.

The bipartisan talks crumbled Wednesday after a week of negotiations, despite hints earlier this week that a deal was close....


What kind of affect that will have on vaccine providers is unknown.

"What happens next is unclear. Neither side is looking forward to leaving Washington next month for a seven-week vacation without having acted to address the health threat, but hard feelings seemed to harden in the immediate aftermath of the vote, leaving any path forward in doubt. Zika is spread mainly by a tropical mosquito and is causing an epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean. The virus can cause horrible birth defects and is likely to spread further this summer."

Media will make sure of that, and "despite growing fears, Democrats blocked the measure for Planned Parenthood" -- in a contract of sorts.

Ever notice the threats always increase when they are caught naked for all the world to see?

"Americans worried more about Ebola than Zika, poll finds" by Brady Dennis, Lena H. Sun and Scott Clement Washington Post  June 30, 2016

WASHINGTON — The biggest danger of the Zika virus lies in its ability to cause severe birth defects in fetuses, including microcephaly, in which the brain fails to develop fully. The virus is also linked to Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome, a nervous system illness that causes muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.

Related:  Zika can be passed sexually from women to men

Should help condom sales at lea$t.

Despite those risks, the Post-ABC poll finds that two-thirds of those polled say they are waiting to see whether any personal action will be necessary. Public health officials have repeatedly warned that Americans — especially pregnant women — should avoid mosquitoes and take steps to eliminate their breeding grounds.

Men and women express roughly similar levels of worry. But a striking gap exists in the perceived risk when it comes to race and ethnicity.

In the United States, officials are monitoring nearly 500 pregnant women infected with Zika. At least four delivered babies with birth defects, and four others lost or terminated pregnancies because the fetuses suffered brain damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention....


Also see:

"Zika’s first mosquito-borne transmission in the United States has not sparked alarm for the vast majority of Americans, who do not fear infection by the disease, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Only 12 percent say they are ‘‘very worried’’ about infection. The poll finds continued confidence in the federal government’s ability to respond effectively to an outbreak of Zika, also unchanged in the past two months. Worries about Zika infections continue to fall below the highest levels of public concern about the Ebola virus in 2014 and the swine flu in 2009. The lack of concern over Zika comes shortly after the first local transmission of the disease in late July, after which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory for the Miami neighborhood where the infection occurred."

The people are all feared out even if they had the means to do something about it, and I'm more worried about West Nile:

"West Nile virus mosquitoes don’t mind the drought" by Vivian Wang Globe Correspondent  July 16, 2016

As a whole, entomologists say they’re seeing fewer mosquitoes than normal this year, partially because of moderate to severe drought conditions across much of the state. Mosquitoes need hot, humid conditions to proliferate, and the lack of rainfall hasn’t provided that. Many of the state’s 51 species of mosquitoes, including those that transmit Eastern equine encephalitis, have diminished ranks, although the state confirmed its first detection of EEE in a mosquito sample Friday.

In Plymouth County, service calls from residents seeking spray to combat mosquitoes is down.

“Hot, dry weather is bad for all adult mosquitoes, because dehydration is a big issue for [them],” said Ellen Bidlack, an entomologist with the Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project. “They’re little, and they dry out very quickly.”

But as streams run dry, organic material accumulates in riverbeds, attracting female Culex pipiens mosquitoes looking for a place to lay their eggs, Bidlack said. That species, which spreads West Nile and is especially common in urban and heavily suburban areas, loves small pools of dirty water.

Also, as people break out garden hoses to compensate for sprinkler bans and lack of rainfall, they’re more likely to leave pools of standing water around their homes, said Dr. Catherine Brown, state veterinarian for the Department of Public Health.

West Nile has been detected in seven mosquito populations sampled this summer: five in Worcester at the start of the month, and then in Brookline and Falmouth, according to the public health department. While Brown said the timing of the virus’s detection isn’t unusual — July typically kicks off West Nile season — the frequency is.

By early July last year, West Nile had been detected in only one mosquito sample, in Sheffield, in the Berkshires, state records show.

No humans or animals have been infected so far this year.

Brookline raised its West Nile risk level to moderate after the infected mosquitoes were detected, and officials said the virus is likely present throughout the town. Alan Balsam, director of the Brookline health department, said insecticide has been applied to 3,500 catch basins, which attract mosquitoes.

“So I think we’re ahead of it, but it’s something people should pay attention to but not freak out about,” Balsam said.

CMON! Quit jerking us around and yo-yoing us!!!

That’s the message Brown has, too: Be proactive — wear bug repellant, dump your standing water — but don’t panic. Ten people were infected with West Nile in Massachusetts last year, but it’s too early to tell if the numbers will increase this year, she said.

They must need a bolstering of their bottom lines.

“We only just started finding West Nile . . . and we just need to continue to monitor it and watch how it progresses,” she said. “If the weather were all of a sudden to radically change, and we were going more into a cool, wet second half of the summer, that would totally change the picture.”

Hasn't. Little rain slackened drought, but it's still hot and humid. Forecasts says about to cool, and it is more comfortable today.

But with little indication of the drought letting up, people would do well to pack the bug spray.... 

I don't like that stuff on me so I guess I'll just stay indoors and blog.



First West Nile virus infection this year is seen in Mass.

Eastern equine encephalitis found in mosquitoes

All this disproportionate hype every single year regarding mosquitoes when other things kill far more people.   

What's next, another measles outbreak?

Also see:

In the dark of night, a hunt for a deadly bug in the name of science

Nervous system disease is detected in ticks on Cape Cod

Are you sure it ain't Lyme?

Dr. Baker's diagnosis was no, but speak up doc!

Revere Beach just got a little sandier

It's a real battle of shifting sands, huh? 

All BS then. 

It's just hot 'cause it's summer.

Back to the rest of the country:

"Health officials said Monday that they are investigating the case of a man in Utah who has contracted Zika virus locally through unknown means, one of the more mysterious cases of transmission yet involving the virus."

They are itching to tell you it is not a natural outbreak.

Utah legislates anesthesia for abortions at 20 weeks and beyond

Utah Abortion Law and Doctors Are at Odds

Doctors unsure how to comply with new Utah fetal pain law 

Doctors in Utah don't know much, huh?

Indiana governor signs fetal defects abortion ban into law

Judge blocks Indiana genetic abnormality abortion law

Court hears woman’s appeal in death of infant

She OD'd on abortion-inducing drugs and killed her kid, which is a crime in Oklahoma.

Zika case in Florida could have come from local mosquito, a first in continental US

They're heeeeere!

Florida mosquitoes being tested for Zika to confirm US bite

CDC issues updated guidance for Zika testing in pregnant women

New Zika cases suggest Florida may be seeing viral outbreak

FDA: No Miami-area blood donations during Zika investigation

It's the time factor, isn't it?

‘Zika is now here’: Mosquitoes now spreading virus in US

"The proportion of pregnant women testing positive for the virus has risen sevenfold since January, the agency said Friday. Officials warned that hundreds of infants could be born with microcephaly in the coming year, but a wave of microcephaly like Brazil’s may yet be averted. The pregnancy rate is falling so precipitously that this year, for the first time in history, Puerto Rico will have fewer births than deaths. Obstetricians are urging their infected pregnant patients to have regular ultrasounds and to consider abortion if brain damage turns up. And damage is turning up."

It truly is a horror story. 

CDC warns pregnant woman against travel to Florida.

‘Little ninja’: Zika-spreading mosquito puts up tough fight

Florida’s $82b tourism industry braces for Zika


Expect us to care about money in the face of this?

Florida officials go into damage-control mode over Zika

All smells like BS to me.

NYC reports 1st Zika-related birth defect case

"There have been 537 confirmed cases of Zika in New York so far, though all appear to be connected to travel to affected areas. On Friday, health officials said an elderly person infected with Zika has died in Puerto Rico as the US territory battles what federal authorities call a silent epidemic...."

Been in my papers enough.

"Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that the city has committed $21 million to protect New Yorkers from Zika. He and other politicians, including US Representative Carolyn Maloney, called on Congress to approve $1.9 billion in emergency funding. Officials say most people who tested positive in the nation’s largest city were infected while traveling to Zika-affected areas, with a small minority getting it via sexual transmission...."

Stay off the subway.

"US officials are developing a new, pink commemorative coin to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for cancer research, said US Representative Carolyn Maloney (left), who sponsored legislation for its creation. The New York Democrat said federal officials will hold a contest to pick artwork that will be displayed on the coin, which is expected to be released in 2018. The pink-gold coin will be part of a set of three new coins aimed at promoting breast cancer awareness and help fund research to find a cure for the disease. The legislation was first proposed in 2013 and was signed into law by President Obama last month. The Treasury Department will create 50,000 pink-gold $5 coins. The US Mint, which will produce the coins, will need to use a new formula to give them a pink tint, Maloney said. They will be at least 75 percent gold."

Get your shot yet?

"The race for a Zika vaccine is intense. But it may be missing the most important players" by Helen Branswell, August 8, 2016

About a year ago, before the Zika virus grabbed global attention, there were zero vaccines for it in development. Today, according to the World Health Organization, there are 30.

Some of the work has been astonishingly quick. Human trials for two experimental vaccines have already begun.

But a vaccine is likely still several years off, and there are indications the wait could be lengthened by a complication that has little to do with the science of vaccine development: The world’s top-tier pharmaceutical companies are largely hanging back, reluctant to get into the race for a vaccine.

Of the vaccines under development, only two projects involve major manufacturers, and in one of those cases — a partnership between GlaxoSmithKline and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — the approach planned is new, untested, and not likely to race to market.

The bulk of the work is being done by US and Brazilian government research teams and smaller biotech companies. That matters: Small biotechs generally lack the money and expertise to take an experimental vaccine from the idea stage to a licensed-for-use product.

The top-tier pharmaceuticals will swoop in and buy them if they develop anything.

For now, vaccine development seems like a risky venture for manufacturers that have recently taken part in a string of emerging diseases rodeos, from SARS and Ebola to the West Nile virus and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Those efforts have required significant investments on the part of major pharmaceutical companies, and have yielded either modest or no financial return.

“A lot of companies, including our own, have invested a lot of money to bring vaccines forward just to find those epidemics petering out,” Dr. Jon Heinrichs, who is leading a Zika project for Sanofi Pasteur, told STAT.

When the 2009 flu pandemic proved to be milder than feared, a number of countries refused to buy all the vaccine they ordered. Multiple companies raced to make an Ebola vaccine in 2014 but by the time most of the prospects were ready to be tested, the outbreak had been brought under control.

Dr. Rip Ballou, who heads the US research and development center for GSK Global Vaccines, is blunt about the burden that has been placed on vaccine manufacturers.

“As a consequence of our experiences with pandemic flu, with Ebola, at the very top of our organization a decision was made: We cannot continue to do business like this in the future. It’s too disruptive. There has to be a better way of doing it,” Ballou said.

Uncertainty over US government funding for Zika is also making it harder to entice the big companies to pursue a vaccine, said Rick Bright, director for influenza and emerging infectious diseases for the Department of Health and Human Services’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Congress recessed for the summer without approving emergency funds requested by the Obama administration in late February.

Government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NIH, and BARDA have been using money borrowed from Ebola response coffers. But it is running out.

BARDA, as its known, works to spurs development of vaccines, drugs, and tests needed to respond to or prepare for emergencies.

“I can honestly tell you that it’s very difficult on our part to keep some of these players engaged without a firm commitment from the government to help support the development of the [Zika] vaccines,” Bright said.

“Some of the companies are really already beginning to turn back internally and say, ‘Well, I have another blockbuster drug over here maybe I should focus on. Maybe this isn’t an opportunity for us to help right now.’”

Because vaccine projects often don’t pan out, BARDA favors a multiple shots-on-goal approach. But where the authority would normally make investments in six vaccines for a new disease threat, for Zika it only has the cash for three. “As things stand now, we’re going to be out of money at the end of August,” Bright said.

Good thing it will be fall by then. 

That's when the print ran out.

The sheer unpredictability of Zika is another huge hurdle for vaccine development. Here, too, the past weighs heavily on the minds of pharmaceutical executives.

The NIH and Sanofi Pasteur collaborated on a West Nile virus vaccine in the early 2000s. But public concern tapered off and with it went the market potential of the vaccine.

Experts feel demand for a Zika vaccine will remain strong, because of the fact the virus can trigger devastating birth defects when a fetus is infected in the womb.

But what they don’t know is how long the outbreak in the Americas will last, and whether it will spread to Africa and Asia. Those two continents have had some Zika transmission in the past, but it’s not known if most people grow up having been infected — and protected — or if large numbers of people there are also vulnerable to the virus.

A recently published modeling study projected that at the rate at which Zika is infecting people, the outbreak could burn itself out in another year or two.

“Nobody really knows right now if this is going to be an endemic virus like is seen with dengue and yellow fever or if it’s going to be an epidemic virus that spreads through a population and leaves everyone immune like chikungunya,” Sanofi’s Heinrichs said.

“If it’s the latter, it’s very challenging to do true efficacy studies.’’

GSK has what it hopes is a solution to the difficulty of creating vaccines to respond to new disease threats.

It is developing a type of messenger RNA vaccine platform that harnesses the mechanics of human cells, prompting them teach the immune system to see Zika as a threat.

The company believes this platform could work in a sort of plug and play way — and could do so rapidly. “You can go from [the pathogen’s genetic] sequence to vaccine in literally a matter of days. Now that’s not in the clinic, but that’s made. And in a vial,” Ballou said.

“That potential for fundamentally changing the way we think about vaccine development. I haven’t seen anything like this in my career. So if it works, it could be a game changer.”

The company is willing to turn part of the Rockville, Md., facility Ballou heads into a sort of emergency response vaccine operation. But the facility would need to be funded.

GSK has been talking to governments and international agencies trying to get buy-in. Said Ballou: “So far we’re a voice in the wilderness on this.”


RelatedUS researchers now testing Zika vaccines in human subjects

Look on bright side if you birth a defective baby: You can get an abortion without discrimination, and won't have the little shit sucking on your teat.

Besides, there are other, more deadly germs to worry about:

"A deadly, drug-resistant yeast infection is spreading around the world" The Washington Post News Service  June 30, 2016

US health officials are warning hundreds of thousands of clinicians in hospitals around the country to be on the lookout for an emerging and highly drug-resistant type of yeast that is causing potentially fatal infections in hospitalized patients around the world.

Most people are familiar with the kind of yeast infections that people get on the skin or in their genitals. But invasive yeast infections can be fatal, especially for patients in intensive care or having surgery.

Others at risk include people with diabetes, patients taking powerful antibiotics and antifungal medications, and those with catheters.

This emerging strain of yeast, known as Candida auris, has triggered outbreaks in health-care settings, causing bloodstream, wound and ear infections. Since 2009, the pathogen has been found in nine countries on four continents, including one possible infection in the United States in 2013.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a clinical alert late last week to US health-care facilities and dozens of medical societies to share with their members."

Avoid the hospitals even if it kills you, and whatever you do, do not wash your hands.


"Health officials and infectious disease experts around the world have sounded the alarm because the gene has since been found in more than two dozen countries around the world, in animals and people. The latest research, published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology, comes as scientists have been intensifying their efforts to find threats to their antibiotic arsenal."



Zika virus now believed to be spreading in Miami Beach

Judge definitively blocks Florida abortion law

Also see:

In Florida, pregnant women cover up, stay inside amid Zika fears

Seen the latest swimsuit?

CDC warns about visits to Miami

Wasn't planning on going anyway.

Volunteers sought as race to develop a Zika vaccine heats up 

Saw that in my local, and stop the insanity.