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Updated Fri. July 29CDC Zika Information
Chances are some of these Zika-related facts are news to you
1. On July 29, CDC reported the first”likely” Zika cases possibly transmitted by mosquitoes within the continental U.S. Zika has been brought into the U.S. by those who travelled to Zika-infested countries. These infected travelers are bitten by mosquitoes upon their arrival in the U.S. during a short infectious period, then Zika spreads to U.S. mosquitoes and residents.
2. At least 1,657 travelers infected with Zika have come into the continental U.S. as of July 27, which is why CDC expected Zika to eventually become a locally-transmitted disease.
3. The largest number of Zika cases are in New York (449), Florida (307), California (87) and Texas (76).
4. One U.S. Zika case was “lab-acquired.”
5. Blood and/or urine tests can confirm Zika infection.
6. Zika virus has been around in other countries since the 1940’s.
7. Zika is considered one of the mildest mosquito-borne viruses.
8. At least 80% of people who get Zika don’t become sick and have no symptoms.
9. For 70 years, Zika wasn’t linked to microcephaly birth defects. The link was made only after a 2015 rise in microcephaly in Brazil coincident with a Zika outbreak.
10. Brazil originally counted 4,180 cases of Zika-related microcephaly from Oct.-Dec. 2015. Experts later ruled out Zika and other infections in a majority of cases.
11. An Argentina doctors’ group said Brazil’s rash of microcephaly was noticed shortly after some communities began using the larvicide “Pyriproxyfen” in drinking water. “It’s a hypothesis, a probability,” Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez, a pediatrician in Cordoba, Argentina and main author of the report told NPR. “And for us, it’s more likely that it’s the chemical larvicide and not Zika.” (“Pyriproxyfen” is also spelled “Pyroproxyfen” in some publications.)Read the Argentina doctors’ report on Pyriproxyfen
12. After the report by the Argentina doctors, one Brazilian state announced it would stop putting Pyriproxyfen in drinking water.
13. The doctors’ group said it received a letter from Monsanto threatening legal action, because the company said the doctors unfairly linked their company to Pyriproxyfen, made by Sumitomo Chemical Company. Monsanto says it doesn’t sell or manufacture Pyriproxyfen; it is simply a Sumitomo business partner.Read the NPR report on why medical experts say there’s no concern about Pyriproxyfen
14. Sumitomo Chemical released a statement reiterating Pyriproxyfen’s safety, saying it poses minimal risk to birds, fish and mammals.
15. Some chemical/pharmaceutical interests and medical authorities attacked the Argentina doctors’ report, said there was no cause for concern about Pyriproxyfen, and said it’s safe to drink at low levels. Other Pyriproxyfen supporters launched a campaign to declare concerns about it “rumor” and a “debunked,” “ridiculous” “conspiracy theory” by “cranks.” Those defending Pyriproxyfen include a propagandist known for promoting pharmaceutical industry interests: David Gorski a/k/a “ORAC.”
16. This dispute over Pyriproxyfen led to an edit war on Wikipedia.
17. Doctors say there’s no “smoking gun” that links Zika to microcephaly, but that all the evidence taken together indicates there’s an association.
18. Normally, microcephaly in the U.S. occurs in as many as 1 in 833 live births.
19. The President of Colombia announced there are plenty of Zika cases there, but no related microcephaly issues.
20. There are more than 3,500 species of mosquitoes. Zika is primarily spread by just one, which isn’t found in most U.S. states.
21. Within the continental U.S., the primary Zika-spreading mosquito (Aedes aegypti) is common only in Florida along the Gulf Coast.
22. Zika symptoms may include joint pain, swelling and conjunctivitis.
23. You’re not supposed to spray bug repellent on skin under clothing.
24. The Obama administration has requested about $1.9 billion to fight Zika.
25. Half the requested taxpayer funds are for Zika projects outside of the U.S.
26. Human travelers from Zika-ridden countries are not being screened for U.S. entry…but primates are. Monkeys and apes imported into the U.S. undergo a mandatory 31-day quarantine period on arrival.
27. Microcephaly birth defects are not reported in monkeys and apes with Zika.
28. Once antibodies develop, a person or primate can no longer spread Zika. Humans are believed contagious for about a week.
29. Zika is not considered a fatal disease. CDC says it only “very rarely” contributes to death.
30. The U.S. has declared an emergency even though no Zika has been transmitted in the continental U.S. That’s in stark contrast to the larger, deadlier EV-D68 and AFM outbreak in 2014 that received little attention.
The nationwide EV-D68 AFM outbreak paralyzed at least 115 children and killed at least 14. But there was no emergency funding request, and CDC deflected questions and slow-walked a Freedom of Information request about the outbreak.
31. Zika can rarely, possibly cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, in which the immune system attacks the nerves causing paralysis. So can some vaccines, according to CDC, including flu vaccine and swine flu vaccine.
32. Some in the health sector have questioned a possible link to mirocephaly and Tdap vaccine introduced into the regimen for pregnant women in Brazil in late 2014.
33. The World Health Organization dismisses the possibility of a Tdap vaccine link saying the Brazilian government has one of the most stringent health regulatory authorities in the world.
34. At least 15 companies have been working on developing a Zika vaccine.
35. Congress and the Obama administration agree that at least $140 million to $200 million tax dollars should go to Zika vaccine development.