Carolina Wild Muscadine Juice

Archive for the ‘Dengue Fever’ Category

Relentless spike in dengue cases alarming in Borneo

In Dengue Fever, Uncategorized on February 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm

by Jonathan Chia, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on February 19, 2013, Tuesday

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2013/02/19/relentless-spike-in-dengue-cases-alarming/#ixzz2LIdW4A2Q

342 cases reported so far this year, number more than double that of same period last year

KUCHING: Dengue cases continue to soar statewide with 86 cases reported from Feb 6 till yesterday, and only Selangor has more cases in the nation so far this year.

Combined with the 256 cases reported from Jan 1 till Feb 5, the total number of 342 cases has more than double the total reported during the same period last year.

State Health Department director Datu Dr Zulkifli Jantan, when contacted yesterday, said there were only 158 cases during the corresponding period last year.

“As of now, Sarawak remains the state with the second highest number of dengue cases reported, after Selangor.”

Concern over the rising number of dengue cases was highlighted by the Health Department’s deputy director (Public Health) Dr Jamilah Hashim at the launching the state-level SC Johnson Anti Aedes Inter-School Rangers Competition at SMK Matang Jaya here two weeks ago.

She had said that as of Feb 5, 2013, a total of 256 dengue cases were reported, as compared to 84 cases during the same period last year.

Dr Jamilah added that the state registered 1,519 dengue cases last year, which was the fifth highest nationwide.

“The dengue cases started to increase in August last year and it continue to climb until today
(Feb 5). If we look at the data from our daily surveillance, the acceptable number of cases by the Ministry of Health for a week is only 30 cases, but since August, we have breached that number.”

She disclosed that the ministry had issued an instruction to the department to reduce the number of cases to below 30 cases per week by Feb 13.

Dr Jamilah said in order to win the war against dengue, everyone had to play their roles in preventing the breeding of dengue mosquitoes.

“We really need the people to inspect their house compounds, just 10 minutes per week. Aedes mosquito’s life cycle is just one week so if we can tackle that one week cycle then we will be able to break the life cycle and it will not grow to be Aedes.”

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2013/02/19/relentless-spike-in-dengue-cases-alarming/#ixzz2LIdBeMx3

Advertisements

Dengue spreading fast, says WHO

In Dengue Fever, Uncategorized on January 21, 2013 at 8:35 am

January 20, 2013 in Health & Fitness

Dengue is the world’s fastest-spreading tropical disease and represents a “pandemic threat,” infecting an estimated 50 million people across all continents, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Report by Reuters

Transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes, the disease is occurring more widely due to increased movement of people and goods — including carrier objects such as bamboo plants and used tyres — as well as floods linked to climate change, the United Nations agency said.

The viral disease, which affected only a handful of areas in the 1950s, is now present in more than 125 countries — significantly more than malaria, historically the most notorious mosquito-borne disease.

The most advanced vaccine against dengue is only 30% effective, trials last year showed.

“In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years,” the WHO said in a statement.

Late last year, Europe suffered its first sustained outbreak since the 1920s, with 2 000 people infected on the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira.

Worldwide, two million cases of dengue are reported each year by 100 countries, mainly in Asia, Africa and Latin America, causing 5 000 to 6 000 deaths, said Raman Velayudhan, a specialist at the WHO’s control of neglected tropical diseases department.

But the true number is far higher as the disease has spread exponentially and is now present on all continents, he said.

“The WHO estimates that on average about 50 million cases occur every year. This is a very conservative estimate,” Velayudhan said, adding that some independent studies put the figure at 100 million.

“Dengue is the most threatening and fastest spreading mosquito-borne disease. It is pandemic-prone, but it is a threat only. Definitely a bigger threat now than ever,” he said

Malaria caused more deaths but was on the decline, affecting fewer than 100 countries.

Speaking to a news briefing after the WHO released a report on 17 neglected tropical diseases affecting 1 billion people, Velayudhan said: “The mosquito has silently expanded its distribution.

“So today you have [the] aedes mosquito in over 150 countries. The threat of dengue exists all across the globe.”

In Europe, the aedes mosquitoes that cause both dengue and chikungya disease have spread to 18 countries, often via the importation of ornamental bamboo or second-hand tires, he said.

“But we are trying to address this in a more systematic way, by controlling entry of vectors at points of entry — seaports, airports, as well as the ground crossings,” Velayudhan said, noting that it was hard to detect mosquitoes and their eggs.

The WHO also said it aimed to eliminate globally two neglected tropical diseases, dracunculiasis, known as guinea worm disease, in 2015, and yaws, or treponematoses, in 2020.

Symptoms of dengue

Dengue causes flu-like symptoms that subside in a few days in some sufferers. But the severe form of the disease requires hospitalisation for complications, including severe bleeding, that may be lethal.

There is no specific treatment but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%, according to the Geneva-based WHO.

“You have to bear in mind that it has no treatment and vaccines are still in the research stage,” Velayudhan said.

The most advanced, being developed by French drugmaker Sanofi SA, proved only 30% effective in a large clinical trial in Thailand, far less than hoped, according to results published in September.

But researchers said it did show for the first time that a safe vaccine was possible.

Dengue, aka “Breakbone Fever,” Is Back in Florida

In Dengue Fever, Uncategorized on December 31, 2012 at 9:28 am
The vicious virus has re-established itself in the South, and mosquitoes are carrying it north.

By |Posted Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, at 11:14 AM ET

Tiger mosquito.

Asian tiger mosquitos, like the one seen above, can carry dengue fever and have been seen as far north as Chicago

Photo by Roger De Marfé/iStockphoto/Thinkstock.

In the autumn of 1885, people in Austin, Texas, began to feel sick. One after another, they developed a chill and then a soaring fever. They vomited and broke out in rashes. Their most distinctive symptom was agonizing pain behind their eyes and in the bones of their arms and legs. And when the fever subsided, lack of appetite and deep exhaustion left them unable to work for weeks or months.

Austin had been founded only 46 years before, and it was still small, with just 22,000 people. By the time the epidemic was over, 16,000 of them had fallen ill. A local doctor who described the outbreak in the Journal of the American Medical Association the following year added: “I am informed that other cities … had as many cases in proportion to the population as did Austin.”

The illness that took out Texas that fall had already devastated Charleston, S.C., in 1828and Savannah, Ga., in 1850, and it would go on to sicken half the population of Galveston, Texas, in 1897; one-quarter of Monroe, La., in 1922; and one out of every nine people in Miami in 1934. It was dengue—a mosquito-borne virus popularly known as “breakbone fever” for the pain it caused. From the 1820s to the 1940s, it caused recurring epidemics roughly every 10 years.

World War II mosquito-eradication programs broke the chain of transmission between humans and insects, and by the time the war ended, dengue had retreated to the tropics and was no longer a problem in the United States.

That may be about to change. At the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene last month, researchers from the University of Florida revealed thatdengue has reappeared in Key West, Fla. The virus they found was not a one-time visitor imported by a tourist or a stray mosquito; it has been on the island long enough to become a genetically distinct, local strain.

The Florida researchers didn’t want to talk about their presentation because they hope to get it published soon in a medical journal. But it turns out other tropical-disease experts have been watching dengue’s return to the United States for a while and wondering what it will mean.

“It really is just a matter of time until dengue re-establishes itself in certain areas here,” says Amesh Adalja of the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “The U.S. has been lucky that it has escaped so far.”

Dengue is already a pandemic elsewhere. Among insect-borne diseases, malaria gets the headlines: It causes about 219 million cases per year and about 660,000 deaths. But dengue is right behind it, racking up potentially 100 million infections per year around the world and putting about 500,000 people in the hospital, most of them children. It causes fewer deaths—25,000 per year—than malaria, but its prolonged illness keeps people from working and depresses both personal incomes and gross national product.

Dengue is also becoming more common. Between World War II and about 1970, severe dengue epidemics were recorded in only nine tropical countries; now the disease occurs routinely in more than 100. The primary driver has been the growth of slums as people leave rural areas to search for work. When migrants settle at the fringes of a city, they are beyond the reach of its infrastructure—water lines, sewer systems, and trash disposal—and they cope by digging latrines, storing water in jugs and barrels, and consigning trash to open dumps. All of those strategies create small pools of stagnant liquid, exactly the kind of habitat that the main dengue-carrying mosquitoes prefer. (The pools can be very small, less than an ounce.)

Dengue infects only humans and other primates—there is no intermediate host that harbors it, such as birds for West Nile virus—and people are its main vehicle for moving around the globe. After a bite, the virus replicates in the blood for four to seven days; once the fever starts, there are at least two and up to 10 days when the victim can cause an infection in the next mosquito that bites him or her. In the two weeks between the initial bite and the end of the infectious stage, a traveler can unknowingly transport the virus from an area where it is common—a marketplace in Singapore, a river terrace in Thailand, a beach in the Caribbean—to somewhere it has never been before.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 2,700 peoplebetween 1977 and 1995, and more than 360 between 2001 and 2004, had that experience: being bitten somewhere, coming home, and getting sick afterward. In most cases, the disease went no further, but sometimes it kept spreading. There was a 122-person outbreak in Hawaii in 2001, the first time the virus had been seen in the islands since 1944. There were 25 cases in Brownsville, Texas, in 2005 and 90 cases in Key West between 2009 and 2010. In the last case, the outbreak extended over the winter, when cooler temperatures should have knocked out local mosquitoes.

“That was the winter when the H1N1 pandemic flu was circulating, and whatever dengue cases we had would have been masked by that and went unrecognized,” says Danielle Stanek of the Florida Department of Health. “When the flu settled down and we realized there were still dengue cases, that was a wake-up call for us.”

Local spread of dengue is still happening in Florida. On Key West, 5 percent of people show immunologic evidence of having had a dengue infection, and the disease is found farther north as well. This year, four residents caught “locally acquired” dengue, two in Miami and two near Orlando, Fla. Another 112 were diagnosed with dengue they had caught somewhere else and brought there.

The CDC’s experts assume there are more cases that haven’t been counted, and not just in Florida. “When you’re seeing a patient early on, dengue looks like a lot of other acute (fever-causing) illnesses,” says Kay Tomashek, chief of epidemiology in the agency’s dengue branch. “If you are a physician in New York and you see a patient with fever, headache, and muscle pain, you might not be thinking about that.”

Detecting imported cases is important because the more frequently the disease comes across the border, the more risks from it increase. And not just the risk of catching the disease. There are four types of dengue, distributed unevenly across the tropics and subtropical zone. Becoming infected with any one causes the classic breakbone fever. But if you acquire and recover from one type and then contract a different type even years later, you are more likely to develop the disease’s worst version, dengue hemorrhagic fever. DHF disrupts the circulation, sends patients into shock, and kills up to 1 in 5.

The U.S. outbreaks to date, as well as the locally adapted Key West strain, are all caused by the first type, known as DEN-1. But 10 of the imported cases in Florida this year were in tourists from Central and South America, where DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4 circulate as well.

Could more dengue outbreaks happen? To spark one, you need three things. First, imported virus: check. Second, a population with no immunity. The United States has that, since dengue was last widespread in the 1940s. And third, mosquitoes that can transmit it. Those are already widespread.

The spraying campaigns that ended U.S. epidemics of malaria and dengue in the 1940s turned out to be only a temporary solution. National eradication programs petered out in 1972, and the main dengue vector, Aedes aegyptiquickly returned; it is now in 23 states and ranges as far north as New York City. In 1985, a second species that can spread dengue—Aedes albopictus, better known as the Asian tiger mosquito—arrived in Texas in a shipment of used tires from the Pacific Rim that had been stored outdoors and held puddles of rainwater. It is now in 26 states and has been found as far north as Chicago.A. albopictus is what entomologists call a “less competent” vector; it doesn’t spread the disease as efficiently as A. aegypti does. But it has other abilities that have huge significance for disease transmission: It bites all day long, not just at dawn and dusk, and it can survive both winter temperatures and drought.

Because there is no vaccine for dengue, the best hope of stopping its advance relies on individual action, such as getting people to wear repellent and persuading them to scour their homes and properties for small puddles—underneath a planter, inside a tiki torch—after every rain. Or convincing them to stay inside. Researchers theorize the 2005 Brownsville outbreak was smaller than the 2009 Key West because of the “Texas lifestyle” of sealed, air-conditioned houses—so different from the patio culture of Hawaii and Key West.

It’s impossible to say, at this point, if climate change will move the risks of dengue farther north. Researchers disagree on whether higher temperatures automatically mean bigger mosquito populations, since the insects are also affected by unpredictable changes in rainfall, humidity, and wind. But barring some other factor that no one can foresee, the experts agree: Dengue is coming.

“It may not swamp the entire U.S.,” Adalja acknowledged. “But the entire South already harbors those mosquitoes, and that is bad enough. Dengue shouldn’t have to swamp the entire country for us to make it a priority.”

INDIA’S DENGUE FEVER EPIDEMIC RAISES ALARM

In Dengue Fever, Uncategorized on November 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Country has become the focal point for a mosquito-borne plague that is sweeping globe

By GARDINER HARRIS NYT NEWS SERVICE

Originally published November 7, 2012 at 12:01 a.m., updated November 6, 2012 at 6:07 p.m.

NEW DELHI — An epidemic of dengue fever in India is fostering a growing sense of alarm, even as government officials have publicly refused to acknowledge the scope of a problem experts say is threatening hundreds of millions of people, not just in India but around the world.

India has become the focal point for a mosquito-borne plague that is sweeping the globe. Reported in a handful of countries in the 1950s, dengue is now endemic in half the world’s nations.

“The global dengue problem is far worse than most people know, and it keeps getting worse,” said Raman Velayudhan, the World Health Organization’s lead dengue coordinator.

The tropical disease, though life-threatening for a tiny fraction of those infected, can be extremely painful for many who catch it. Growing numbers of Western tourists are returning from warm-weather vacations with the disease, and it’s pierced the shores of the United States and Europe. Last month, health officials in Miami announced a case of locally acquired dengue infection.

In India’s capital, hospitals are overrun and feverish patients are sharing beds and languishing in hallways. At Kalawati Saran Hospital, a pediatric facility, a large crowd of relatives lay on mats and blankets outside the hospital entrance recently.

Officials say 30,002 people in India had been sickened with dengue fever through October, a 59 percent jump from the 18,860 recorded in 2011. But the real number of Indians who get dengue fever annually is in the millions, several experts said.

“I’d conservatively estimate that there are 37 million dengue infections occurring every year in India, and maybe 227,500 hospitalizations,” said Scott Halstead, a tropical disease expert.

A senior Indian government health official, who agreed to speak about the matter only on the condition of anonymity, acknowledged that official figures represent a mere sliver of dengue’s toll. The government only counts cases of dengue that come from public hospitals and have been confirmed by laboratories, the official said. Such a census, “which was deliberated at the highest levels,” is a small subset that is nonetheless informative and comparable from one year to the next, he said.

“There is no denying that the actual number of cases would be much, much higher,” the official said. “Our interest has not been to arrive at an exact figure.”

The problem with that policy, said Manish Kakkar, a specialist at the Public Health Foundation of India, is that India’s “massive underreporting of cases” has contributed to the disease’s spread. Experts from around the world said that India’s failure to construct an adequate dengue surveillance system has impeded awareness of the illness’s vast reach, discouraged efforts to clean up the sources of the disease and slowed the search for a vaccine.

“When you look at the number of reported cases India has, it’s a joke,” said Harold Margolis, chief of the dengue branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Neighboring Sri Lanka, for instance, reported nearly three times as many dengue cases as India through August, according to WHO, even though India’s population is 60 times larger.

Part of India’s problem is that some officials view reports of dengue infections as politically damaging. A central piece of evidence for those who contend that India suffers hundreds of times more dengue cases than the government acknowledges is a recent and as yet unpublished study of dengue infections in West Bengal that found about the same presence of dengue as in Thailand, where almost every child is infected by dengue at least once before adulthood.

“I would say that anybody over the age of 20 in India has been infected with dengue,” said Timothy Endy, chief of infectious disease at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

For those who arrive in India as adults, “you have a reasonable expectation of getting dengue after a few months,” said Joseph Vinetz, a professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego. “If you stay for a longer period, it’s a certainty.”

Twenty years ago, 1 of every 50 tourists who returned from the tropics with fever was infected by dengue; now, it is 1 in 6.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/nov/07/tp-indias-dengue-fever-epidemic-raises-alarm/

Dengue Fever Confirmed in Florida

In Dengue Fever, Uncategorized on October 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm

MIAMI (AP) — South Florida health officials say they’ve confirmed the state’s first case of dengue fever this year in a 7-year-old girl.

The Miami-Dade County Health Department said Thursday that the girl had not been traveling and contracted the flu-like illness in Florida. She has recovered.

Dengue fever is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a species common in the southeastern U.S. and the tropics. It’s sometimes called “breakbone fever” because of the severe joint pain it can cause in extreme cases.

Dengue fever was once thought eradicated in the U.S. No cases were reported in Florida for more than half a century until a small number of people were diagnosed with the illness in 2009 and 2010.

Health officials say residents can protect themselves by reducing their exposure to mosquitos.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012/09/27/dengue-fever-confirmed-in-florida-girl/57848484/1

Dengue Fever in Texas?

In Dengue Fever, Uncategorized, West Nile Virus on September 10, 2012 at 8:51 am
September 4, 2012 

By 

drjane65@gmail.com

Recently, there is a lot of buzz in the news and on-line about Dengue Fever.  I had to really dig in my heels and sort through the published literature on this latest in “medical gossip”.

Normally found in more tropical climates such as the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Mexico, a few cases in recent years have been found in southern Florida according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).    There is increasing concern that areas on the border such as Juarez, which have experienced an upsurge of Dengue Fever, could put the South Texas region on alert.

According to the most recent CDC map, recent cases in Texas seem to be travelers arriving from places outside the U.S. The concern however, is that increased international commerce from areas with infected mosquitoes and warmer environmental climates could be allowing more mosquitoes to survive thru the winter months.  Remember: it was an unseasonably warm winter this past year.

Approximately 3-8% of travelers returning from the tropics may become infected.  Next to malaria, Dengue is the second most common tropical disease infection resulting in hospitalizations.

Dengue fever is characterized by high fever, vomiting, rash and dehydration and may occur from 3-15 days after an infected mosquito bites its victim.  Headache, chills and swollen lymph nodes may be the first signs of infection.   Symptoms may last 1-2 weeks with complete recovery.  Infected individuals with more severe viral forms of Dengue may develop life-threatening symptoms such as bleeding of the skin, gums and gastrointestinal tract (referred to as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever).

Not limited to blood work, sometimes a spinal tap is necessary for diagnosis.  Treatment is limited and usually just an increase in fluid intake is needed.  Occasionally IV fluids, and rarely hospitalization is necessary for Dengue Fever.  For Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, blood transfusions and more intensive care is necessary.

Tylenol is the medication of choice and drugs such as aspirin and NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc) are not recommended as they could increase the risk of bleeding.

The prognosis (outcome) is most always excellent for Dengue Fever. As with West Nile, people with altered immune systems such as the elderly and those on chemotherapy are more likely to experience complications. Overall fatality rate is about 1%.  Although that seems low, world wide about 500,000 to 1 million people die each year from the disease (which is significant).

No vaccines are available at this time and the CDC recommends insect repellent with up to 50% DEET for adults and children over 2 months of age.

So, is the hype real?  I suspect we must all be on alert.  It was a warm winter.  For now, I am going to invest in  DEET insect repellent and pray fo a really good winters freeze.  I suggest you do the same.

‘Robo-mosquitoes’ in Margaritaville?

In Dengue Fever, Lyme Disease, Uncategorized on August 13, 2012 at 8:43 am

BY DAVID REJESKI AND ELEONORE PAUWELS

Most Europeans see the United States as the land that embraces genetic engineering. So imagine the surprise when a British firm — Oxitec — ran into the buzz saw of public opinion trying to introduce a genetically modified (GM) mosquito in Key West to eradicate the dreaded Dengue virus.

Within a few weeks of a public meeting to discuss the mosquito release, a petition against the initiative had more than 100,000 signatories. [The entire population of Monroe County, which encompasses The Keys, is only about 75,000.] Key West inhabitants have branded Oxitec mosquitoes with names like “Robo-Frankenstein mosquitoes,” “mutant mosquitoes,” and “Super bugs,” using rhetoric lifted from movies like Jurassic Park and The Hunger Games.

Are people overreacting? Maybe. But a closer read of many of the comments posted on the petition website provide a deeper insight into the resistance and some key lessons for future technologies dependent on genetic engineering.

•  Trust. Whether the public trusts new technologies often depends on whether the public trusts their developers or those responsible for ensuring public safety. The comments contain numerous references not just to Oxitec, but to agriculture giant Monsanto, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and British Petroleum: “I am fed up with Monsanto and other biotech companies,” said one.

Given the complexity of most emerging technologies, many people will fall back on this simple trust test, and most corporations, and increasingly, government organizations, will lose.

•  Nature. Many people saw the GM mosquitoes as a violation of nature’s order, commenting, “Why do all these big companies all seem to think that they know what’s better than Mother Nature?” “You can’t mess with Mother Nature and not have something bad happen; they don’t know what they’re doing!”

Commenters pointed to a number of examples, including invasive species common in Florida, such as the melaleuca plant (originally introduced to dry out swampy land) and giant pythons, and other unwelcome visitors like Africanized honeybees, the Mediterranean fruit fly (a scourge in California) and Asian beetles and carp. People emphasized that a true “test release” is impossible. “Once living organisms are released into the environment they cannot be recalled, nor do we know what results and impacts may occur,” one commenter said.

•  Permission. Decades of research on risk perceptions have shown that people differentiate between “voluntary” risks, which we willfully undertake, and “non-voluntary” risks, which are imposed upon us. People will smoke themselves to death while fighting against a nearby factory emitting pollutants.

In this case, Key West inhabitants clearly saw the government and the company imposing their will on the population. “We were never asked if we wanted GMOs released into our environment . . . there is very little democracy left if we have no voice,” one commenter said. Another asked, “Who wants to be a human Guinea pig?” Another added, “We are not lab rats!”

Interestingly, the other side of the risk equation, Dengue fever, was never mentioned. This may be because the actual number of cases in Florida totaled seven in 2011 and 58 in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the tropics and subtropics, as many as 100 million people are infected yearly, but for many people in Florida, Dengue fever is an abstraction; Oxitec and their mosquitoes pose the risk.

Clearly, there was a significant lack of information about impacts and uncertainties in the Key West case. Some people asked: “Where is the unbiased, third-party, peer-reviewed research on effectiveness and safety of GM mosquitoes?” But given the biases, trust deficit, and dynamics of the situation, it is doubtful whether more information would have reduced public opposition.

As scientists work on more dramatic modifications of organisms in areas like synthetic biology, the Key West case should serve as a lesson, as should the growing public opposition to GM foods in states like California, Michigan, Oregon, Washington and Vermont.

Getting the science right won’t help if we get the public engagement wrong.

David Rejeski is the director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholar’s Science & Technology Innovation Program. Eleonore Pauwels is a research scholar with the program.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/13/2945313/robo-mosquitoes-in-margaritaville.html

Residents of Key West have a choice: Dengue or GMO mosquitoes?

In Dengue Fever, Uncategorized on July 23, 2012 at 7:18 am
By Philip Bump
Floridians don’t like dengue fever. No one does: it’s a painful ailment spread by mosquitoes that results in skin rash, achiness, sometimes a little bit of death. Oxitec, a biotechnology firm based in the U.K., has a possible solution: mosquitoes engineered to die before they can spread the disease.Turns out that Floridians don’t particularly care for bioengineered mosquitoes, either. From Nature:

[I]t took only three months for Mila de Mier to gather 100,000 names from people opposed to the release of the mosquitoes in Key West, Florida, where the potentially lethal disease is making a comeback. …

“The more questions we ask, the more confused we are,” says de Mier, a Key West business woman, who started the petition in April. “I started thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, what if these mosquitoes bite my boys or my dogs? What will they do to the ecosystem?’.”

The good news for de Mier’s boys and dogs is that Oxitec’s mosquitoes are all male and therefore don’t bite. They live short lives mating with the native population, passing on the self-destruct gene. In field tests conducted in Brazil, introduction of Oxitec’s mosquitoes dropped the population in a small area by 85 percent in one year. That could make a difference against a disease that’s already established a foothold. A 2010 study found that 5 percent of Key West residents already carry the virus. The existing method used to stem transmission, as The New Yorker notes, is to dump insecticide over wide swaths of the area.

Short of moving (might we suggest Southern California? It has none of the tropical climate and all of the access to Disney), residents of Key West are left with this choice: suffer from the effects of dengue fever, expose large portions of the population to insecticide, or release genetically modified mosquitoes.

http://grist.org/news/residents-of-key-west-have-a-choice-dengue-fever-or-gmo-mosquitoes/

Sri Lanka Deploys Troops to Battle Dengue Fever

In Dengue Fever on July 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Ten thousand troops are being deployed in Sri Lanka to combat dengue fever, which is spread by mosquitoes. Fifteen thousand people were infected during the first five months of 2012

http://india.nydailynews.com/newsarticle/4fe8bb77b1e35db674000013/sri-lanka-deploys-troops-to-battle-dengue-fever

Diagnostic Test Approved for Dengue

In Dengue Fever, Malaria, Uncategorized on June 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm
June 21 2012

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received approval from the FDA for a new diagnostic test to detect the presence of dengue virus in people with symptoms of dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever. The test, called the CDC DENV-1-4 Real Time RT PCR Assay, can be performed using equipment and supplies many public health laboratories already use to run  influenza Real-Time PCR assays.

The new test will help diagnose dengue within the first seven days after symptoms of the illness appear, which is when most people are likely to see a health care professional and the dengue virus is likely to be present in their blood. The test can identify all four dengue virus types. It is the first FDA-approved molecular test for dengue that detects evidence of the virus itself.

Dengue is caused by any of the four virus types, which are transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Travelers returning from Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean are most at risk for contracting dengue. Symptoms of dengue include high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, mild bleeding involving mucous membranes, and easy bruising. There are no FDA-licensed vaccines available for this illness.

Diagnostic kits will be available for distribution beginning July 2, 2012.

For more information call (800) 232-4636 or visit www.cdc.gov/Dengue.

 

http://www.empr.com/diagnostic-test-approved-for-dengue/article/246795/

%d bloggers like this: