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FRANKEN-Squito-Zika

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« on: October 31, 2011, 01:14:50 pm »

Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Released in Cayman Islands, Malaysia and Brazil
October 31st, 2011


These mosquitoes are genetically engineered to kill — their own children.

Researchers on Sunday reported initial signs of success from the first release into the environment of mosquitoes engineered to pass a lethal gene to their offspring, killing them before they reach adulthood.

The results, and other work elsewhere, could herald an age in which genetically modified insects will be used to help control agricultural pests and insect-borne diseases like dengue fever and malaria.

But the research is arousing concern about possible unintended effects on public health and the environment, because once genetically modified insects are released, they cannot be recalled.

Authorities in the Florida Keys, which in 2009 experienced its first cases of dengue fever in decades, hope to conduct an open-air test of the modified mosquitoes as early as December, pending approval from the Agriculture Department.

“It’s a more ecologically friendly way to control mosquitoes than spraying insecticides,” said Coleen Fitzsimmons, a spokeswoman for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District.

The Agriculture Department, meanwhile, is looking at using genetic engineering to help control farm pests like the Mediterranean fruit fly, or medfly, and the cotton-munching pink bollworm, according to an environmental impact statement it published in 2008. Millions of genetically engineered bollworms have been released over cotton fields in Yuma County, Ariz.

Yet even supporters of the research worry it could provoke a public reaction similar to the one that has limited the acceptance of genetically modified crops. In particular, critics say that Oxitec, the British biotechnology company that developed the dengue-fighting mosquito, has rushed into field testing without sufficient review and public consultation, sometimes in countries with weak regulations.

“Even if the harms don’t materialize, this will undermine the credibility and legitimacy of the research enterprise,” said Lawrence O. Gostin, professor of international health law at Georgetown University.

The first release, which was discussed in a scientific paper published online on Sunday by the journal Nature Biotechnology, took place in the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean in 2009 and caught the international scientific community by surprise. Oxitec has subsequently released the modified mosquitoes in Malaysia and Brazil.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/31/science/concerns-raised-about-genetically-engineered-mosquitoes.html
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 03:35:00 pm »

What strikes me about all this meddling in genetics, disease, and other bio-engineering is...

We have a saying in IT that *usually* proves to be true - "he/she knows just enough to be dangerous..."

Can't help but to think that sums up humanity's knowledge of all of this stuff.
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... knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”  (2 Peter 3)
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 11:32:07 pm »

I remember seeing this stuff in 80's and 90's movies/tv shows.

Yeah, first Satan's Hellywood will condition the public into thinking it's "just entertainment so laugh all you want", then when they unleash the real thing, it goes right under everyone's noses.
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 11:45:22 am »

Millions of GMO Mosquitoes Released Without Risk Assessment or Oversight

Look out people of planet earth, genetically engineered bugs are here. Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, our technocracy is working ever diligently on genetically engineering every last living cell on the planet – WITHOUT EXCEPTION. What does this mean for life here on earth? Ever hear the expression “soup sandwich?” Well, after these “scientific” geniuses are through with us, that is exactly what all life will be – a genetic soup sandwich, made in a lab, and stamped with a corporate logo embedded in our DNA.

If the following report from Testbiotech doesn’t send chills up your spine, I don’t know what will. Get ready world, because nothing will ever be the same. Ever. There is no remediation technique available to clean up genetically engineered mutations released into the wild and spread through horizontal gene transfer. Barb

Regulatory decisions on releasing genetically modified (GM) insects biased by corporate interests

Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK said “The public will be shocked to learn that GM insects can be released into the environment without any proper oversight. Conflicts-of-interest should be removed from all decision-making processes to ensure the public have a proper say about these plans.”

London/ Munich Thursday 8th November 2012 A briefing published today by public interest groups highlights how regulatory decisions on GM insects in Europe and around the world are being biased by corporate interests.

The briefing shows how UK biotech company Oxitec has infiltrated decision-making processes around the world. The company has close links to the multinational pesticide and seed company, Syngenta. Oxitec has already made large-scale open releases of GM mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands, Malaysia and Brazil and is developing GM agricultural pests, jointly with Syngenta. Plans to commercialise GM insects would result in many millions of GM insects being released in fields of crops, including olives, tomatoes, citrus fruits, cabbages and cotton. In future, any insect species might be genetically modified.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is highlighted as one of several examples showing how industry organises its influence. In EFSA´s GM insects working group, which was established to develop guidance for risk assessment of genetically engineered insects, there are several cases of conflicts of interest, including experts with links to Oxitec who only partially declared their interests. The draft Guidance on risk assessment of GM insects shows some significant deficiencies: for example it does not consider the impacts of GM insects on the food chain. Oxitec’s GM insects are genetically engineered to die mostly at the larval stage so dead GM larvae will enter the food chain inside food crops such as olives, cabbages and tomatoes. Living GM insects could also be transported on crops to other farms or different countries. EFSA has excluded any consideration of these important issues from its draft guidance. Many other issues are not properly addressed.

The briefing also highlights problems with a World Health Organisation (WHO)-funded project which has allowed the company to bypass requirements for informed consent for the release of GM mosquitoes. The WHO-funded Mosqguide project, which was supposed to be developing best practice, also allowed the company to gain approval from Brazilian regulators to release 16 million GM mosquitoes before draft regulations on the release of GM insects had been finalised or adopted, without publishing a risk assessment.

Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK said “The public will be shocked to learn that GM insects can be released into the environment without any proper oversight. Conflicts-of-interest should be removed from all decision-making processes to ensure the public have a proper say about these plans.”

Christoph Then, Executive Director, Testbiotech, said: “Risk assessment of genetically engineered animals touches many areas where there is lack of knowledge. We are concerned that EFSA will apply a biased and selective protocol to safety without really sorting out potential hazards.”

François Meienberg, Berne Declaration, said: “Companies such as Syngenta and Oxitec have to learn that negative impacts on the environment or health can arise from their lobbying activities. To act responsibly they have to change their lobbying behaviour immediately.”

Nina Holland, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), said: “Experts on EFSA’s working groups should not be allowed to have any conflict of interests with industry, let alone ties with companies producing the very product they are assessing – in this case GM insects. This clearly shows that EFSA’s rules to deal with conflicts of interest still have major gaps.”

Tina Goethe, SwissAid, said: “The development of GM-insects for agriculture implies unforeseeable risks for human health and environment. In order to meet the challenges of small scale agriculture in poor countries, we do not need expensive and high risk technologies, but agro-ecological solutions.”

The briefing highlights multiple attempts by Oxitec to influence regulation around the world, which have included:

Attempts to define ‘biological containment’ of the insects (which are programmed to die at the larval stage) as contained use, by-passing requirements for risk assessments and consultation on decisions to release GM insects into the environment;
Attempts to avoid any regulation of GM agricultural pests on crops which will end up in the food chain;
Avoidance of any discussion of how GM insects can be contained at a site, or products produced using GM insects can be labelled;
Exclusion of many important issues from risk assessments, including impacts of surviving GM mosquitoes on the environment and health, and impacts of changing mosquito populations on human immunity and disease;
Failure to follow transboundary notification processes for exports of GM insects correctly;
Undermining the requirement to obtain informed consent for experiments involving insect species which transmit disease;
Attempts to avoid liability for any harm if anything goes wrong;
Pushing ahead with large-scale open releases of GM mosquitoes before relevant guidance or regulations are adopted.

For further information contact:

Helen Wallace, GeneWatch UK, Tel +44 (0)1298-24300 (office); +44 (0)7903-311584 (mobile), helen.wallace@genewatch.org

Christoph Then, Testbiotech, Tel + 49151 54638040, info@testbiotech.org

François Meienberg, Berne Declaration, Ph: +41 44 277 70 04, Email: food@evb.ch

Nina Holland, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), Tel: +32 2 8930930, Mobile: +31 (0) 6 302 85 042, nina@corporateeurope.org

Tina Goethe, SwissAid, Tel.: +41-(0)31-350 53 75, t.goethe@swissaid.ch


Read the full report here:
http://farmwars.info/?p=9457
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 04:14:03 am »

Hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes set to be released into the Florida Keys in experiment to fight dengue fever

    The non-biting male mosquitoes genetically modified would pass along a birth defect killing their progeny before reaching maturity
    After a few generations officials say Key West's Aedes aegypti population would die off reducing risk of dengue fever
    FL Keys Mosquito Control District: Modified genes will disappear after mosquitoes carrying it die making no permanent change to wild population

Hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes are awaiting federal approval for release into the Florida Keys as part of an experiment aimed at reducing the risk of dengue fever.

Mosquito control officials have requested the Food and Drug Administration's sign off on the experiment that would be the first of its kind in the U.S.

Some residents of the tourist town of Key West worry though on how much research has been done to determine the risks of releasing genetically modified mosquitoes on the Keys' fragile ecosystem.

Officials are targeting the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes because they can spread dengue fever, a disease health officials thought had been eradicated in the U.S. until 93 cases originated in the Keys in 2009 and 2010.

The trial planned by mosquito control officials and the British company Oxitec would release non-biting male mosquitoes that have been genetically modified to pass along a birth defect that kill their progeny before reaching maturity.

The idea is that they will mate with wild females and their children will die before reproducing. After a few generations, Key West's Aedes aegypti population would die off, reducing the dengue fever risk without using pesticides and at relatively a low cost, the proponents say. There is no vaccine for dengue fever.

'The science of it, I think, looks fine. It's straight from setting up experiments and collecting data,' said Michael Doyle, pointing to research Oxitec has had published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He inherited the project when he took the lead at the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District in mid-2011.

The district's website says the modified genes will disappear from the environment after the mosquitoes carrying it die, resulting in no permanent change to the wild mosquito population. The district also says that the mosquito species isn't native to the Keys, nor is it an integral food source for other animals.

Dengue fever is a viral disease that inflicts severe flu-like symptoms — the joint pain is so severe its nickname is 'breakbone fever.' It isn't fatal but victims are then susceptible at subsequent exposures to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can be.

'It's very uncomfortable. You ache all over, you have a terrible fever,' said Joel Biddle, a Key West resident whose dengue fever symptoms lasted more than a week in 2009.

Biddle is among those concerned about the Key West trial. He worries the modified genetic material will somehow be passed to humans or the ecosystem, and he wants more research done. He and other Key West residents also chafe at the fact that the project was in the works long before it was made public late last year.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2244272/Florida-officials-consider-releasing-genetically-modified-non-biting-mosquitoes-battle-dengue-fever.html#ixzz2ESDJHdZQ
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2014, 10:45:42 am »

British Company Offers No Reassurance to Concerns of Proposal to Release GM Mosquitoes in U.S.

Last Thursday, a town hall meeting at Harvey Government Center in Key West drew a large crowd that erupted in opposition to a proposal to release genetically modified mosquitoes this coming Spring. It's a proposal from a seemingly strange choice - the United Kingdom.

British company Oxitec is petitioning the U.S. Government for permission to release male GE Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that contain a gene whereby they die unless receiving an antidote in the form of antibiotic tetracycline. The males released will live long enough to mate, but the offspring will die before maturation. The proposal that is now gaining ground has been in preparation for three years, with significant involvement by Wellcome Trust. In 2012, the plan to go through was thwarted when a resolution didn't pass.

Of course the company insists that the technology is totally safe.

The expressed idea behind using Key Haven for the trial run is to eradicate the possibility of dengue and chikungunya viruses - yet, the area hasn't experienced dengue since 2010. The FDA, CDC, USDA, and EPA are in tandem reviewing the process.

Among the most vocal opponents is Mila de Mier, whose massive petition caught a lot of attention.

She says:

    There are lots of questions that need to be answered. This is bigger than a couple people raising objections; the government is trying to do an experiment with the people of Florida.

Residents have listed several concerns:

    The Aedes aegypti mosquito is not native to the Keys.
    Future resistance problems when certain mosquitoes don't actually die off [and what problems would that pose for potential disease too]?
    The mosquitoes' effect on the bat population that feeds on them.
    Where are the peer-reviewed safety studies to support Oxitec’s safety claims?
    Could other disease-carrying mosquitoes fill in the void left by a dwindled Aedes aegypti population?

Yahoo News adds the following:

    Critics also contend that Oxitec cannot completely sort mutated insects by gender, resulting in the release of biting females into the environment (male mosquitoes do not bite humans).

Oxitec spokesperson Chris Creese said it was possible some females could get released but being bitten by one was no different than being bitten by a wild female....

She said of the five different dengue viruses/subtypes:

    They are all transmitted by this species of mosquito - So yes, it is clear the virus will mutate. But if you can stop the mosquito, you can stop the disease.

    [...]

    The safety of the GM mosquitoes has been reviewed by regulatory agencies in Brazil, Malaysia, Cayman and Panama…and none of the agencies determined any [increased] risk to human health or the environment.

All the unanswered or non-reassuring answers to the questions lead to a fear that even scientists have of a major ecological disruption. Even the company cannot answer concerns with complete certainty.

Creese, who did not mention where previous trials in the wild took place, or how they were certain the mosquitoes don't affect the bat population, added that in the lab, up to five percent of the GE male population can survive,

    However in the open environment one has harsher conditions and we don’t see that level of survival. We haven’t seen any survivors after a couple of weeks.

But a big question remains unanswered - why now? Why the urgency? Why did the wheels for this trial project keep turning after dengue disappeared from the Keys? Why is Oxitec (and Wellcome) so willing to generously finance the entire operation?

I think a look at the people behind the company is revealing. Syngenta, Bayer, biotech and pharma alums top the list.

A final comment from the Oxitec spokesperson who pointed out to dengue outbreaks in the Caribbean Islands as a reason for prompt release.

    The situation is, can we afford to do nothing? Prevention is the best defense.

In other words, this is a vastly uncharted and extreme preemptive move - where no threat currently exists. Where no other options have been placed on the table for future possibilities. Where no benefits exist except for a trial run to test their work on insects, a human population and the ecosystem.

http://www.naturalblaze.com/2014/12/british-company-offers-no-reassurance.html?m=1
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2016, 02:46:41 am »

Was Zika outbreak caused by release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Brazil?

The genetically engineered insects were designed to stop the spread of dengue fever but critics now fear the programme may have had a deadly consequence

The Zika virus outbreak currently gripping the Americas could have been sparked by the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in 2012, critics say.

The insects were engineered by biotechnology experts to combat the spread of dengue fever and other diseases and released into the general population of Brazil in 2012.

But with the World Health Organisation(WHO) now meeting in Geneva to desperately discuss cures for the Zika virus, speculation has mounted as to the cause of this sudden outbreak.

The Zika virus was first discovered in the 1950s but the recent outbreak has escalated alarmingly, causing birth defects and a range of health problems in South and central America.

The first cases were reported in Brazil last May with up to 1.5 million people now thought to be affected by the virus which is spread by mosquitoes endemic to Latin America.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito sub-species that carries both the Zika virus and dengue was the type targeted with genetically modified mosquitoes.

The aim was to release only male Aedes mosquitoes into the wild and they would in turn produce offspring with their virus carrying female counterparts.

This offspring would then die off before breeding again due to the GM coding in their genes.

But experts expressed concerns about the programme at the time of its inception, arguing that further studies were needed on the potential consequences.

On Saturday, senior health experts shockingly announced that the outbreak could pose a bigger threat to global health than the Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in Africa.

"In many ways the Zika outbreak is worse than the Ebola epidemic of 2014-15," Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome trust told The Guardian.

"Most virus carriers are symptomless.

"It is a silent infection in a group of highly vulnerable individuals – pregnant women – that is associated with a horrible outcome for their babies.”

The UK is unlikely to be affected by the outbreak because the virus carrying mosquitoes could not survive the climate.

But women returning from affected areas are warned to postpone trying for a baby for at least a month in case they have been infected.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/zika-outbreak-caused-release-genetically-7281671
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2016, 05:30:10 pm »

SEXUALLY-TRANSMITTED ZIKA CASE CONFIRMED IN TEXAS

A person in Texas has been infected with the Zika virus after having sex with an ill person who had returned from South America, Dallas County health officials said Tuesday.

It's the first case of the virus being transmitted in the U.S. during the current outbreak of Zika, which has been linked to birth defects in the Americas.

"It's very rare but this is not new, we always looked at the point that this could be transmitted sexually," said Zachary Thompson, director of the Dallas County Health and Human Services, told WFAA-TV in Dallas.

Health officials did not release any details about the Texas patient, citing privacy issues. In a tweet, Dallas health officials said the first person infected had been to Venezuela, but did not detail when and where that person or the second person was diagnosed. The second person did not travel.

The Zika virus is usually spread through mosquito bites, but investigators have been exploring the possibility the virus also can be spread through sex. There was report of a Colorado researcher who picked up the virus in Africa and apparently spread it to his wife back home in 2008, and it was found in one man's semen in Tahiti.

"That gives you the plausibility of spread, but the science is clear to date that Zika virus is primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito," Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control said during a recent news conference.

The CDC says it will issue guidance in the coming days on prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus, focusing on the male sexual partners of women who are or may be pregnant. The CDC has already recommended that pregnant women postpone trips to more than two dozen countries with Zika outbreaks, mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Venezuela. It also said other visitors should use insect repellent and take other precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

In the epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean, the main villain identified so far is called Aedes aegypti - a species of mosquito that spreads other tropical diseases, including chikungunya and dengue fever. It is found in the southern United States, though no mosquito-borne transmission has been reported in the continental United States to date.

The World Health Organization on Monday declared a global emergency over the rapidly spreading Zika virus, saying it is an "extraordinary event" that poses a threat to the rest of the world. The declaration was made after an emergency meeting of independent experts called in response to a spike in babies born with brain defects and abnormally small heads in Brazil since the virus was first found there last year.

WHO officials say it could be six to nine months before science proves or disproves any connection between the virus and babies born with abnormally small heads.

The CDC said that in the recent Texas case, there's no risk to a developing fetus.

Zika was first identified in 1947 in Uganda. It wasn't believed to cause any serious effects until last year; about 80 percent of infected people never experience symptoms.

The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week. Symptoms usually start two days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

While Thompson told the television station that the case of sexual transmission is "a game-changer," he added that he didn't want people in Dallas County to overreact. Health officials and Thompson noted that sexual partners can protect themselves by using condoms to prevent spreading sexually transmitted infections.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_ZIKA_VIRUS_TEXAS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-02-02-15-42-34
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2016, 05:32:23 pm »

The race to stop Zika: Scientists scramble to find the source of the head-shrinking virus to stem the global outbreak – as suspicion falls on two tiny Pacific islands
Experts trying to understand very basics of disease which has no vaccine
Virus seems to have different effect due to environmental or genetic factors
Zika virus suddenly re-emerged nine years ago on tiny Pacific island of Yap
It affected 70% of population, yet appears to have caused no birth defects
But on French Polynesia, women gave birth to babies with abnormalities
See more news on the Zika Virus at www.dailymail.co.uk/zikavirus


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3428099/The-race-stop-Zika-Scientists-scramble-source-head-shrinking-virus-stem-global-outbreak-suspicion-falls-two-tiny-Pacific-islands.html#ixzz3z3ZGdMPP
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 08:34:54 pm »

Why Bill Gates is being blamed for the Zika virus

The latest revelation regarding the Zika virus involves a genetically-altered mosquito project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – an experiment which some suspect may have caused the rapid spread of a once-rare disease that is now expected to circulate around the globe.

Zika virus has been linked to a birth defect called microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with brain damage and unusually small heads.

Brazil has been labeled the "epicenter" of the Zika virus outbreak, with more than a million cases reported there.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Brazil is also the site where the GM mosquito project was carried out – and it involved the same strain of mosquito said to be responsible for the spread of the virus.

From The Event Chronicle:

"The Zika virus, which has been detected in 18 of the 26 states in Brazil, is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. A generically modified version has been developed by a British biotech company called Oxitec.

"The results of a trial in Brazil published this summer involved genetically engineered mosquitoes that allegedly fight the spread of dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, and zika virus.

"But scientists have warned the study had too few controls in place to ensure that the mosquitoes released into the wild did not end up spreading dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, and zika virus.

"In short, these genetically modified mosquitoes could be the cause of the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil and other parts of South and Central America."

There may be no conclusive evidence yet that the GM mosquito project funded by Gates has actually caused the spread of Zika, but it's a possibility well worth investigating.

Was it an accident?
At the very least, the project relied on sloppy science. In theory, only male mosquitoes were modified so that they would produce larvae that died before birth – but there would always be some that survived.

One of the sources of the Zika/GMO connection story was a recent Reddit post that has since gone viral.

An excerpt from the Reddit post:

"The OX513A strain of male mosquitoes released in Juazeiro creates larvae that normally die in the absence of antibiotics, which is supposed to help decimate wild mosquito populations when these males are released in the wild. Problem here being of course, that "life, uh, finds a way". An estimated 3-4% of the larvae survive to adulthood in the absence of the tetracycline antibiotic. These larvae should then be free to go on and reproduce and pass on their genes. In fact, they may be the only ones that are passing on their genes in places that have their wild mosquito population decimated by these experiments."

There is further evidence that up to 15 percent of the GM mosquito offspring may be able to survive, due to the tetracycline antibiotic being present in the environment from other sources. And it seems that Oxitec, the company that developed the GM mosquito program was well aware of that fact.

As reported by Zero Hedge:

"In fact, as a confidential internal Oxitec document divulged in 2012, that survival rate could be as high as 15% — even with low levels of tetracycline present. 'Even small amounts of tetracycline can repress' the engineered lethality. Indeed, that 15% survival rate was described by Oxitec."

The saga continues
It's easy to see where the Zika virus crisis might fit in with Bill Gates' admitted depopulation agenda. Not only are babies being born nearly brain-dead, but now women throughout Latin America are being urged not to have children during the next two years. Coincidence?

And in the latest Zika news, GM mosquitoes are now being considered for use in fighting the further spread of the virus.

And of course, researchers are scrambling to develop a vaccine. ...

Sources:

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/052847_Bill_Gates_Zika_virus_depopulation.html#ixzz3zLqpYwrN
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2016, 06:12:07 pm »

First case of Zika confirmed in Austin, disease continues to spread in U.S.

The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department confirmed Austin’s first case of Zika virus Thursday evening.

According to the department’s website, a man under the age of 50 contracted the virus while abroad in Columbia. Currently, there are 10 confirmed Zika cases in Texas including seven in Harris County, one in Bexar County and two in Dallas County.

The disease is most commonly transmitted via mosquito bites and is an active threat in the Caribbean, Mexico and South and Central America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patients diagnosed with Zika in the continental U.S. have mostly been identified as travelers returning from a country known for active Zika transmission, according to the center’s website.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, nine of the patients diagnosed with Zika in Texas contracted the virus in another country. The other case resulted from sexual contact between a Dallas County resident and someone who contracted the disease while abroad.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent the Zika virus, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends preventing contraction of the disease by avoiding mosquito bites.
While symptoms are usually mild or nonexistent for most people diagnosed with the disease, Zika has led to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack the nervous system, in rare cases.

CDC issued a level two travel alert for regions where the virus is spreading, urging travelers to proceed with caution. The organization especially recommends pregnant women avoid traveling to infected countries because exposure to the virus could result in a miscarriage or microcephaly, a condition in which a baby is born with an abnormally small head and an underdeveloped brain.

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2016/02/05/first-case-of-zika-confirmed-in-austin-disease-continues-to-spread-in-us
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2016, 05:37:29 pm »

First case of Zika identified in Alabama as it emerges virus has now spread to 20 U.S. states and DC

First case of Zika virus has been identified in Alabama, officials confirmed
Four other people are being tested and a fifth's results came back negative
Zika has now spread to 20 states, as well as Washington, DC
59 cases have been reported in the U.S. and all were infected abroad
For more of the latest on the Zika virus visit www.dailymail.co.uk/zikavirus

The first case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Alabama.

Officials in Alabama said the person had recently traveled to a country affected by the virus and returned infected.

The individual, who has not been identified, is a resident of Morgan County in the Tennessee Valley and is said to be 'fine'.



Four other people have been tested and are awaiting results, while another person, who had returned from Latin American country, came back negative.

'The person is fine,' Dr Jim McVay, from the Alabama Department of Public Health, told Al.com.

Dr Tom Miller, acting state health officer, said he expected more cases to be identified in Alabama.

'We knew it was only a matter of time before we would have the first positive case of an individual in Alabama with Zika virus,' he said.

'Given the frequency of international travel to affected areas, we anticipate having additional positive cases. We are working with the medical community to identify high-risk individuals.'

The Zika virus is now believed to have spread to 20 states, as well as Washington, DC.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3440898/Alabama-health-agency-confirms-Zika-case-state.html#ixzz3zuDEFGcR
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2016, 05:38:21 pm »

Miscarriages reported in 2 U.S. women with Zika virus, CDC says

Two U.S. women who contracted the Zika virus while traveling out of the country miscarried after returning home, and the virus was found in their placentas, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Federal health officials have not previously reported miscarriages in American travelers infected with the mosquito-borne virus while abroad. But there have been miscarriages reported in Brazil, the epicenter of a Zika epidemic that now spans nearly three dozen countries. Researchers in Salvador, Brazil's third largest city, are investigating some miscarriages and still births at three maternity hospitals for possible links to Zika.

The STAT website first reported the U.S. miscarriages, based on information from the CDC's chief pathologist. The pathologist told STAT the women miscarried early in their pregnancies but provided no additional details.

[Zika and sex: Seven key things you need to know about the case in Dallas]

Last month, officials said a baby born in a Hawaii hospital was the first in the country with a birth defect linked to Zika. Hawaii officials said the baby's mother likely contracted the virus while living in Brazil last year and passed it on while her child was in the womb. Babies born with this rare condition, known as microcephaly, have abnormally small heads and brain abnormalities.

In cases when women have one or two miscarriages, the cause is usually severe chromosomal problems, experts say. "It's absolutely possible for an infection, whether it be viral or bacterial, to result in a miscarriage," said Zev Williams, an obstetrician-gynecologist who specializes in pregnancy loss at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. "Whether it was caused by Zika remains to be determined," he said, but urged individuals to take precautions to avoid contracting or transmitting the virus.

Some virus infections in pregnancy, like Rubella or German measles infections especially early in pregnancy, can spread from the mother and infect the cells of the fetus and cause direct injury to it, said Jesse Goodman, an infectious diseases doctor at Georgetown University.

In testimony before Congress Wednesday, CDC Director Tom Frieden reiterated that the agency is learning more about Zika every day, including how it can be transmitted from mother to fetus. Increasing evidence in Brazil also is linking Zika to microcephaly and other suspected neurological complications.

More than four dozen Zika cases have been confirmed in 14 states and the District of Columbia -- six involving pregnant women -- with at least another 21 cases in U.S. territories, the CDC said last Friday. Frieden also said that one U.S. case of Guillain-Barré syndrome may be linked to Zika.

[Zika linked to serious eye defects in babies with microcephaly, study finds]

It was unclear whether the two miscarriages were counted among the six cases involving pregnant women.

Global health officials are closely monitoring the spread of the virus and the incidence of suspected neurological complications. Frieden has said the link between Zika and Guillain-Barré, which can lead to paralysis in adults, is growing stronger. Several South American countries have identified cases of the syndrome.

The World Health Organization, which has designated the outbreak a "global public health emergency," issued guidance Wednesday on how women should protect themselves against possible sexual transmission of Zika. It said that until more is known, "all men and women living in or returning from an area where Zika is present -- especially pregnant women and their partners -- should be counseled on the potential risks of sexual transmission and ensure safe sexual practices."

[NIH officials accelerate timeline for human trials of Zika vaccine, saying they will now begin in the summer]

Those include the correct and consistent use of condoms, the WHO said.

Last week the CDC issued its own detailed recommendations for preventing sexual transmission of the virus, including the suggestion that men who have traveled to Zika-affected regions consider abstaining from sex with their pregnant partner for the duration of the pregnancy. The guidelines came after a Dallas resident was infected by having sex with a person who had contracted the disease while traveling in Venezuela.

Read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/02/11/miscarriages-reported-in-2-u-s-women-with-zika-virus-cdc-says/
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2016, 10:32:04 pm »

Larvicide Manufactured By Sumitomo, Not Zika Virus, True Cause Of Brazil's Microcephaly Outbreak: Doctors

The microcephaly outbreak in Brazil, which coincided with the spread of the Zika virus, continues to stun the world, even months after the incident was first reported.

Pregnant women all over the world have been advised to take caution. The Zika virus infection has been linked to newborn babies with the birth defect microcephaly. This is a congenital condition in which babies are born with unusually tiny heads.

The notion, however, has recently been challenged by a group of Argentine physicians. The group suspects that the Zika virus is not to blame for the rise in microcephaly cases, but that a toxic larvicide introduced into Brazil's water supplies may be the real culprit.

Not A Coincidence?

According to the Physicians in Crop-Sprayed Towns (PCST), a chemical larvicide that produces malformations in mosquitoes was injected into Brazil's water supplies in 2014 in order to stop the development of mosquito larvae in drinking water tanks.

The chemical, which is known as Pyriproxyfen, was used in a massive government-run program tasked to control the mosquito population in the country. Pyriproxyfen is a larvicide manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a company associated [PDF] with Monsanto. However, PCST has referred to Sumitomo as a subsidiary of Monsanto.

"Malformations detected in thousands of children from pregnant women living in areas where the Brazilian state added pyriproxyfen to drinking water is not a coincidence," the PCST wrote [pdf] in the report.

For instance, the Brazilian Health Ministry had injected pyriproxyfen to reservoirs in the state of Pernambuco. In the area, the proliferation of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus, is very high, the PCST said.

Pernambuco is also the first state in Brazil to notice the problem. The state contains 35 percent of the total microcephaly cases in the country.

The group of Argentine doctors points out that during past Zika epidemics, there have not been any cases of microcephaly linked with the virus. In fact, about 75 percent of the population in countries where Zika broke out had been infected by the mosquito-borne virus.

In countries such as Colombia where there are plenty of Zika cases, there are no records of microcephaly linked to Zika, the group said.

When the Colombian president announced that many of the country's citizens were infected with Zika but that there was not a single case of microcephaly, the allegations soon emerged. Some 3,177 pregnant women in the country were infected with Zika, but the PCST report said these women are carrying healthy fetuses or had given birth to healthy babies.

Remain Skeptical

On its website, Sumitomo Chemical says pyriproxyfen poses minimal risk to birds, fish and mammals.

However, the evidence is overwhelming. The Washington Post reported in January that after experts examined 732 cases out of 4,180 Zika-related microcephaly, more than half were not related to Zika at all. Only 270 cases were confirmed as Zika-linked microcephaly.

On top of all the suspicions, however, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been careful not to explicitly link Zika to microcephaly.

"Although a causal link between Zika infection in pregnancy and microcephaly — and I must emphasize — has not been established, the circumstantial evidence is suggestive and extremely worrisome," said WHO General Director Margaret Chan.

In the meantime, scientists are currently racing toward developing a vaccine for the mosquito-borne infection.

While there is no solid proof yet that the larvicide causes microcephaly, the local government of Grande do Sul in the southern portion of Brazil suspended the use of the chemical larvicide pyriproxyfen.

A Monsanto representative reached out to Tech Times to clarify that the company does not sell or manufacture pyriproxyfen.

"Neither Monsanto nor our products have any connection to the Zika virus or microcephaly. Monsanto does not manufacture or sell Pyriproxyfen. And, Monsanto does not own Sumitomo Chemical Company. It is, however,  a business partner like others in the area of crop protection," the representative said.

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/133548/20160214/monsanto-larvicide-not-zika-virus-true-cause-of-brazils-microcephaly-outbreak-doctors.htm
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2016, 05:08:24 am »

Zika has been linked to birth defects. Now it may be causing paralysis.

The Zika epidemic flaring across the Americas has produced several hot spots with large numbers of cases. But there is no place quite like Turbo.

The mosquito-borne virus has spread rapidly here and across lowland Colombia, but the city is unusual for the subsequent outbreak of a rare, debilitating disorder known as Guillain-Barre syndrome, whose precise link to the virus remains unclear. Before Zika’s arrival in Turbo, a mostly Afro-Colombian town of 60,000 set amid vast banana plantations on the country’s north coast, doctors typically saw one case of Guillain-Barre a year, if that.

In the past six weeks, there have been five, all of them severe. Three patients have died. One is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit. The fifth, a 10-year-old girl, hasn’t been able to move her legs in a week.

The deaths, and the aggressiveness of the Guillain-Barre cases here, are among the first signs of a strange and worrisome pattern that is challenging the way doctors in Colombia and across Latin America are preparing for the spread of Zika.

Much of the global attention to the virus has zeroed in on a suspected link to microcephaly, a congenital defect that leaves babies with undersized heads and varying degrees of nerve damage. Brazilian officials say they may have hundreds or thousands of such cases related to Zika. But the photos of worried mothers and distressed infants may have given many people the impression that the virus poses no major risk to anyone else.

That is not true, and certainly not here in Turbo, where rank sewage-filled canals line the streets and more and more people are arriving at the crowded emergency room with bloodshot eyes and itchy, red pockmarks, the telltale signs of Zika. Something about the virus – and researchers still don’t know what it is – appears to significantly increase the incidence of Guillain-Barre.

rest: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/world/wp/2016/02/21/zika-has-been-linked-to-birth-defects-now-it-may-be-causing-paralysis/
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2016, 07:42:04 pm »

Brazil plans to zap mosquitoes with radiation to halt spread of Zika virus

Authorities want to release sterilised males so that females lay inviable eggs, eradicating the Aedes mosquito that carries the virus blamed for surge in babies born with microcephaly

 Brazil is planning to fight the Zika virus by zapping millions of male mosquitoes with gamma rays to sterilise them and stop the spread of the virus linked to thousands of birth defects.

Called an irradiator, the device has been used to control fruit flies on the Portuguese island of Madeira. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday it will pay to ship the device to Juazeiro, in the northeastern state of Bahia, as soon as the Brazilian government issues an import permit.

"It's a birth control method, the equivalent of family planning for humans," said Kostas Bourtzis, a molecular biologist with the IAEA's insect pest control laboratory.

 Brazil is scrambling to eradicate the Aedes mosquito that has caused an epidemic of dengue and more recently an outbreak of Zika, a virus associated with an alarming surge in cases of babies born with abnormally small heads.

The new epidemic threatens to scare visitors away from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August. A Brazilian non-profit organisation called Moscamed will breed up to 12 million male mosquitoes a week and then sterilise them with the cobalt-60 irradiator, produced by Canadian company MDS Nordion, said Dr Bourtzis.

The sterile males will be released into target areas to mate with wild females who will lay eggs that produce no offspring, he said during an IAEA meeting of mosquito control experts.

 After an initial programme in a dozen towns near Juazeiro, the Brazilian government would have to decide on scaling up the sterile mosquito production with more funding for use in cities, where they would be released from the air, possibly from drones, said Dr Bourtzis.

With no cure or vaccine available for Zika, which has spread to more than 30 countries, mostly in the Americas, the only way to contain the virus is to reduce the mosquito population.

Brazilian researchers are also experimenting with radiation. The Fiocruz biomedical research institute has released 30,000 sterile mosquitoes on an island 217 miles off the coast of northeast Brazil.

Another experiment under way in Brazil involves a mosquito genetically modified so their offspring die before reaching adulthood.

Much remains unknown about Zika, including whether the virus actually causes microcephaly. Brazil said it has confirmed more than 500 cases, and considers most of them to be related to Zika infections in the mothers. Brazil is investigating more than 3,900 additional suspected cases of microcephaly.

rest: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/zika/12169491/Brazil-plans-to-zap-mosquitoes-with-radiation-to-halt-spread-of-Zika-virus.html
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2016, 07:43:11 pm »

CDC Reports 14 New Cases of Sexually Transmitted Zika in U.S.

 Fourteen more people may have caught the Zika virus in the U.S. without traveling to affected zones, federal health officials said Tuesday — strong evidence that the virus is sexually transmitted fairly often.

Some of those suspected of having been infected sexually have been pregnant women, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

"CDC and state public health departments are now investigating 14 new reports of possible sexual transmission of Zika virus, including several involving pregnant women," the CDC said in a statement.

rest: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/zika-virus-outbreak/now-it-s-15-cases-sexually-transmitted-zika-virus-us-n524286
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2016, 01:56:47 am »

American Women Begin Aborting Babies over Zika Fears

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that at least two pregnant women who tested positive for the Zika virus chose to abort their babies.

The Washington Post wrote that one woman in her 30s “contracted the virus during her first trimester while traveling to a Zika-affected area.” Doctors found the baby had “severe brain abnormalities” at 20 weeks and the virus in the amniotic fluid. She decided to abort her baby.

The CDC said they “received more than 257 requests for Zika testing of pregnant women in the United States.” More than 97% tested negative, but the center decided to track nine pregnant women, who experienced “fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis” and traveled to Zika areas:

Six of the infected women acquired Zika during their first trimester, the CDC reported. Of those, two experienced miscarriages and two chose to have abortions. One woman delivered a baby who suffered from “severe microcephaly,” a condition marked by abnormally small head size, as well as seizures, trouble swallowing, eye problems and calcifications in the brain. One pregnancy is ongoing, the CDC said. The agency said that while remnants of the Zika virus were detected in fetal tissues taken after both miscarriages, “it is not known whether Zika virus infection caused the pregnancy losses.” Roughly 10 to 20 percent of all pregnant women suffer miscarriages during the first trimester, officials noted.

Of the two pregnant women with Zika diagnosed during their second trimester, one gave birth to an apparently healthy baby and another is still pregnant. The one pregnant woman who experienced Zika symptoms during her third trimester later delivered a healthy infant.

Doctors cannot diagnose microcephaly until the third trimester or after birth:

In many cases, microcephaly may not be evident by ultrasound until the third trimester and, therefore, may not be seen on ultrasounds performed earlier in pregnancy. The diagnosis of microcephaly may be made at birth or later in infancy. The baby’s head circumference is much smaller than normal. During the physical exam, the doctor obtains a complete prenatal and birth history of the child. In older babies and children, the doctor may also ask if there is a family history of microcephaly or other medical problems. Sometimes the child is born with a normal head circumference but then acquires microcephaly because of a serious condition, such as certain genetic disorders, stroke, traumatic injury, or poisoning. The doctor will also ask about developmental milestones since microcephaly can be associated with other problems, such as intellectual disability. Developmental delays may require further medical follow-up for underlying problems.

Experts continue to work to find an exact link between microcephaly and the Zika virus. Planned Parenthood and leftist politicians have argued that easier access to abortion will help contain the damage the Zika virus is causing in Latin America.

“It is essential to recognize that women and men have the right to make decisions and existential options and one of the most important choices in the life of a woman is to have children or not,” wrote sociologist Jacqueline Pitanguy in O Globo.

Virologist Gubio Soares, who first identified the presence of the pervasive Zika virus in Brazil, suggested that legalized abortion in French Polynesia may have prevented scientists from uncovering a link between Zika and severe infant deformities sooner.

During a lecture, Soares claimed scientists do not know for sure if a link exists between Zika and microcephaly. This is mainly because women in places where Zika breeds often aborted children who showed signs of microcephaly.

Fear of microcephaly or other complications due to Zika have pushed women to seek illegal abortions. Doctors indicate women in all social classes are seeking out these abortions “in despair over the possibility of deformity.” Some even go through with abortions without concrete proof of complications.

Paulo Leão, a state researcher and member of Brazil Without Abortion, said these decisions are another form of “eugenics.”

The CDC announced that doctors had confirmed the Zika virus in the tissue of infants who died from microcephaly. “This is the strongest evidence to date that Zika is the cause of microcephaly,” explained CDC Director Tom Frieden. “Zika is new, and new diseases can be scary, particularly when they can affect the most vulnerable among us.”

Frieden stopped short of claiming Zika caused microcephaly. He said scientists need to perform more tests to confirm an actual link.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/02/29/two-american-women-with-zika-abort-their-babies/
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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2016, 02:08:18 am »


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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2016, 04:06:06 pm »

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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2016, 02:42:07 pm »

Centers for Disease Control: Zika Virus ‘A Bit Scarier Than We Initially Thought’


The Obama administration is raising the alarm about the Zika virus, warning Congress and the American people that more funding is needed to respond to the threat posed by the virus.

“Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Schuchat warned Americans to prepare to fight the virus, which will inevitably be transmitted to the continental U.S. She also urged pregnant women not to travel to infected areas, adding they should specifically defer travel to the Summer Olympics in Brazil.

Representatives from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases were brought to the White House to brief reporters on the disease that threatens pregnant women and their unborn children.

“[T]he more and more we learn, the more and more you get concerned about the scope of what this virus is doing,” warned Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Bottom line is we still have a lot to learn.”

Fauci urged Congress to pass more spending to fight the virus, although he admitted that the CDC had already been siphoning funds from other projects to fund research and send prevention kits to Zika infected areas.

“We really do need to learn a lot more, because this is a very unusual virus that we can’t even pretend to know everything about it that we need to know,” Fauci said.

The Obama administration has called for Congress to pass $1.9 billion in additional funding for the agencies.

But Congress has urged the Obama administration to find funds to fund their research and prevention efforts within their existing budgets, and to draw money from the extra funds passed by Congress to fight Ebola.

“We’re glad the administration has agreed to our request to use existing Ebola funds to address the Zika epidemic,” Doug Andres, a spokesperson for Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
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said. “If additional Zika resources are needed those funds could and should be addressed through the regular appropriations process.”

The House Appropriations Committee has indicated that they will continue to monitor the funding of federal agencies, to assure that they have enough resources.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/04/11/center-disease-control-zika-virus-bit-scarier-initially-thought/
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« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2016, 08:08:06 pm »

Brazilian scientists find new Zika-linked brain disorder in adults

Scientists in Brazil have uncovered a new brain disorder associated with Zika infections in adults: an autoimmune syndrome called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, or ADEM, that attacks the brain and spinal cord.

Zika has already been linked with the autoimmune disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome, which attacks peripheral nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, causing temporary paralysis that can in some cases require patients to rely on respirators for breathing.

The new discovery now shows Zika may provoke an immune attack on the central nervous system as well.

The findings add to the growing list of neurological damage associated with Zika.

According to the World Health Organization, there is a strong scientific consensus that, in addition to Guillain-Barre, Zika can cause the birth defect microcephaly, though conclusive proof may take months or years. Microcephaly is defined by unusually small heads that can result in developmental problems.

Brazil said it has confirmed more than 940 cases to be related to Zika infections in the mothers. Brazil is investigating nearly 4,300 additional suspected cases of microcephaly.

In addition to autoimmune disease, some researchers also have reported patients with Zika infections developing encephalitis and myelitis - nerve disorders typically caused by direct infections in nerve cells.

"Though our study is small, it may provide evidence that in this case, the virus has different effects on the brain than those identified in current studies," Dr. Maria Lucia Brito, a neurologist at Restoration Hospital in Recife, Brazil, said in a statement.

ADEM typically occurs in the aftermath of an infection, causing intense swelling in the brain and spinal cord that damages myelin, the white protective coating surrounding nerve fibers. It results in weakness, numbness and loss of balance and vision, symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis.

Brito presented her findings on Sunday at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Vancouver. The study involved 151 patients who visited her hospital between December 2014 and June 2015. All had been infected with arboviruses, the family of viruses that includes Zika, dengue and chikungunya.

Six of these patients developed symptoms consistent with autoimmune disorders. Of these six, four had Guillain-Barre and two had ADEM. In both ADEM cases, brain scans showed damage to white matter. ADEM symptoms typically last about six months.

All six patients tested positive for Zika, and all had lingering effects after being discharged from the hospital, with five patients reporting motor dysfunction, one with vision problems, and one with cognitive decline.

At least 13 countries have reported cases of Guillain-Barre linked with outbreaks of Zika, according to the World Health Organization, and WHO believes that Zika likely is the cause.

Dr. James Sejvar, a neuroepidemiologist for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the ADEM cases linked with Zika do not appear to be occurring at the same accelerated rate as cases of Guillain-Barre, but said doctors should be on the lookout for ADEM and other central nervous system illnesses.

"Of course, the remaining question is 'Why?'" Sejvar said. "Why does Zika virus appear to have the strong association with GBS and potential other immune/inflammatory diseases of the nervous system?"

Sejvar, who has studied Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) in Brazil and is involved in a major clinical trial of Guillain-Barre in Puerto Rico, said he hopes future studies will shed more light on such questions.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/brazilian-scientists-zika-linked-brain-disorder-adults-201228829.html
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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2016, 12:22:03 am »

CDC Says Zika Mosquitoes Heading To Midwest And Northeast

The CDC is warning that as warmer weather starts rolling into the northern part of the US, Zika virus–carrying mosquitoes are likely to follow. Although previous reports from the organization suggested that Florida, Texas, Louisiana and other southern states may see cases of Zika this summer, recently released maps from the CDC suggest that the Midwest and northeast parts of the US are likely to be affected as well.

The new maps show the estimated range of two species of mosquitoes: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Aedes aegypti is definitely known to spread Zika, while researchers believe that the Aedes albopictus species may also be capable of spreading the virus. The maps show Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as far north as Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, while the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes’ range includes almost all of the Midwest and the Northeast. CDC Director Tom Frieden said the maps show “there are more places at risk than realize they’re at risk, given where the mosquito is likely to be present.”

Don’t panic

This admittedly sounds like scary news. However, the CDC cautions that “maps are not meant to represent risk for spread of disease.” Instead, they only suggest where mosquitoes that may be able to transmit the virus live. Experts also caution that the US is not likely to see the same number of cases as countries like Brazil and Colombia. According to Dr. Tony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “We do think the living conditions in general in the United States, the lack of density, better air conditioning, wider use of screens, will keep us in better shape.”

They also point out that a mosquito would have to bite a person who already has the virus in order to spread it to another person, and right now, there aren’t that many cases of Zika in the US — 270 so far. However, all of these cases were related to traveling abroad. But, as summer approaches and mosquitoes become more active, numbers may go up.

How the virus spreads

A recent survey suggested that one-third of Americans thought the Zika virus could be spread through coughing, which is absolutely false. Here are the four ways Zika can actually be spread:

    Mosquito bites

Zika can spread through the bite of a mosquito that is carrying the virus, specifically the aforementioned Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species, which are also know to spread dengue and chikungunya. According to the CDC website, “Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.”

    Sexual transmission

Infected men can pass the Zika virus onto their sexual partners both before symptoms start and after they’ve resolved. The virus is known to stay present in the semen longer than the blood.

    From mother to child

Pregnant women already infected by the virus can pass it to the fetus during pregnancy. It is also possible for the virus to be passed from mother to child during labor.

    Via blood transfusion

The virus can also be transmitted via blood transfusion, although no cases of this have been reported yet in the US.

Risks and dangers associated with Zika

The biggest concern with the Zika virus is its link to birth defects when passed from a pregnant woman to her child. Many women with Zika have given birth to babies with unusually small heads and brain damage. This condition, called microcephaly, is also linked to other problems including seizures and a range of other developmental delays and disabilities.

The virus can also cause symptoms in adults, including fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, and red eyes. However, according to the CDC, “Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms.”

The best way to protect yourself from Zika, according to the CDC, is to prevent mosquito bites by wearing clothing that keeps you covered, applying insect repellant, using screens and other barriers, and eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites like still water. The World Health Organization (WHO) is also recommending that pregnant women avoid areas with ongoing Zika outbreaks entirely, and to practice safe sex with any men who have lived in or traveled to these areas.

For more information on how to protect yourself, check out these natural ways to keep mosquitos away.

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/cdc-zika-mosquitoes-midwest-northeast/
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« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2016, 08:51:39 pm »

Zika threatens TWO BILLION people across the world: New maps reveal where virus is likely to strike - as experts predict millions of births will occur in these areas, raising the risk of microcephaly

    More than 2 billion people live in areas where the Zika virus could thrive, given the environmental conditions
    New maps show how the virus could spread in tropical and subtropical parts of Asia, Africa and the Americas
    In addition, experts predict around 5 million births to women in these areas could result in babies with microcephaly
    They say the maps should spark authorities in these countries into action to protect against the spread of Zika
    See more news on the Zika virus as new maps reveal areas of risk at www.dailymail.co.uk/zikavirus 


More than two billion people are at risk of Zika virus, experts warn, as they reveal a new map that indicates those areas at greatest risk.

The southeastern US, including much of Texas to Florida, have ideal conditions for the virus to spread.

Meanwhile, a large portion of tropical and subtropical regions also have highly suitable environmental conditions, and are on the at-risk list.

In total, these areas are inhabited by more than 2.17 billion people, scientists at the University of Oxford and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, estimate.

Researchers produced a fine-scale global map of Zika virus transmission, as part of their study.

Scroll down for video

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3550368/Zika-threatens-TWO-BILLION-people-world-New-maps-reveal-virus-likely-strike-experts-predict-millions-births-occur-areas-raising-risk-microcephaly.html#ixzz46QDL0QQ8

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« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2016, 08:52:17 pm »

Mosquito forecast: Wet spring could fuel bug boom and Zika cases

Swarming mosquitoes that plague summer barbecues will likely arrive in full force during warm, wet weather expected soon, but this year they could bring a danger beyond an itchy bite: Zika.

Meteorologists predict spring and summer conditions that could be ideal for a boom in the mosquito population that transmits the virus.

The U.S. has done battle with disease-carrying mosquitoes before. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,060 cases of the West Nile virus in the U.S., which resulted in 119 deaths, said Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist of the National Pest Management Association.

The Zika virus poses different danger, however. Though deaths from Zika are rare, it can cause microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with small heads and incomplete brain development, the CDC said.

Zika, which is spreading rapidly through South America, Central America and the Caribbean, is also linked to infant eye abnormalities and Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a neurological disorder that can cause temporary paralysis.

U.S. health officials have warned that mosquito eradication efforts may not be able to keep pace. Although researchers are scrambling to produce a vaccine to prevent Zika, it is unlikely to be ready by the time mosquito season hits. There is also no treatment for microcephaly.

Scientists know the Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits the Zika virus through its bites and believe the more common Aedes albopictus mosquito could also be a carrier. That means the geographic range for the insects could extend to 30 states, the CDC noted in a map revised last week.

Mosquitoes emerge from winter hibernation when temperatures rise and days get longer. In Mid-Atlantic states, the bugs are already emerging from their egg, pupal or larvae stages, said Laura Harrington, professor and chair of Cornell University’s Department of Entomology. It will take a while longer for them to crawl out farther north. Mosquitoes are active year-round in the nation's southernmost states, she said.

It's not that the mosquitoes will be traveling north carrying the virus; the bugs are already in your yard, waiting to hatch.  The Aedes aegypti species is considered a domesticated species – an Aedes aegypti mosquito might spend its entire life cycle in your own backyard, Harrington said.

Indeed, Aedes mosquitoes don’t fly very far from the place where they hatched – typically not farther than the length of a football field,  Fredericks said. Some mosquito species can fly more than a mile, but not the mosquitoes that transmit Zika.

Only female mosquitos bite: In the case of the Aedes mosquitoes, females will often take multiple small meals, “sipping” blood from a single person or multiple people in a single night, Hendricks said.

It's only if they bite a Zika-infected person, then bite you a week or so later, that you could get infected with Zika. That means outbreaks are likely to be local to where an infected person lives.

A typical adult mosquito lives about two weeks, said Harrington, and can bite several people during that time.

Infected travelers returning from Zika-plagued countries to a ready population of mosquitoes could easily spread the virus in the USA, the CDC said. So far, the CDC has confirmed 346 cases of the virus here, all in people who recently traveled to countries with an outbreak.

Mosquitoes crave warm, wet weather, and meteorologists predict temperatures well above normal across much of the nation from late spring into early summer, said Jon Gottschalck, a meteorologist at the Climate Prediction Center. The rainy, warm winter in the Southeast and a prediction of ample rain from the central Rockies to Texas from May to June set good conditions for a fertile breeding ground.

​"There's not a lot of infected people, so there's not much of a virus yet," said Fredericks of the pest management association. "But a lot of folks are really concerned."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2016/04/20/zika-mosquitoes-weather/82943496/
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« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2016, 05:53:55 pm »

Brazil Nears 100,000 Zika Cases Less Than 100 Days from Olympics

Brazil confirms this week it has documented a staggering 91,387 cases of Zika in 2016, with more than 7,000 cases being pregnant women. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns the number of Zika cases globally is set to increase, though cooling temperatures may finally lower the rates of infection in Brazil itself.

The Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo has published the new government statistics, which nearly guarantee that more than 100,000 Zika cases will be recorded this year, though Brazil is nearing the Southern Hemisphere’s autumn. It notes that health experts nationwide are alarmed not just by the rates of Zika contraction, but by the “triple epidemic” of related diseases chikungunya and dengue, both spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito. In addition to these three diseases, the mosquito is also capable of spreading yellow fever.

The Folha notes that the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, leads the number of documented Zika cases with 25,930 so far. As Zika is known to spread in two ways – through mosquito bites and by sexual transmission – tourists planning to travel to Rio for the Olympic Games are being warned to wear long-sleeved clothes and engage only in protected sex to avoid Zika.

WHO announced Monday that it expects the number of Zika cases to decline in Brazil, but is preparing for a “marked increase” in Zika cases in the Northern Hemisphere as temperatures warm. The only nations in the Western Hemisphere not to boast a significant population of the relevant mosquito species are Chile and Canada, though both have documented Zika cases within their borders in individuals who traveled abroad.

WHO’s assistant director general, Marie-Paule Kieny, told reporters that Zika in Brazil was “clearly on the decline,” though she did not provide numerical evidence for this. She warned that the virus remains a “global emergency.”

A study published recently estimates that up to two billion people worldwide are at risk for contracting Zika.

Brazil is hoping that the cooling weather will help boost ticket sales for the Olympics. As early as February, airlines and travel groups began offering free cancelations to trips to affected regions – Brazil, as well as Colombia – for pregnant women, or women who fear they could become pregnant. Some fear that new studies are approaching tangible conclusions regarding new ways for Zika to enter the human bloodstream; for example, a recent study found certain Brazilian primates carrying Zika in their blood, a sign that a human being may be able to contract Zika from another primate species.

Pregnant women are, by far, the most at risk for serious consequences stemming from contracting Zika. An estimated 80 percent of Zika carriers show no symptoms and may not know they have the disease. Those who do, exhibit mild symptoms of infection, such as conjunctivitis and low-grade fever.

In pregnant women, however, the virus appears to immediately attack the fetus, etching away at brain development. Babies born to mothers carrying Zika are often diagnosed with microcephaly, a condition in which the baby’s skull is too small for its brain, crushing the brain and causing severe damage.

Doctors are beginning to see even more advanced deterioration in new cases of Zika infants, however. The Wall Street Journal reports that doctors have found not only a small head, but undeveloped brains carrying water where vital brain structures that control vision and basic thought should be.

“These aren’t just microcephaly, like a slightly small head. The brain structure is very abnormal,” Jeanne Sheffield, director of maternal-fetal medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told the newspaper.

Brazil is facing not only the challenge of convincing women to travel to the Olympics despite this threat, but convincing potential tourists to overlook the large-scale political upheaval in the country. Growing political discord within Brazil has led many to reconsider traveling there, as the virus remains a threat in a government in revolt, distracted by too many other developing crises to give Zika the necessary attention.

Emblematic of this is the recent resignation of Marcelo Castro, the nation’s minister of health. Castro will step down on Wednesday, after having received criticism for warning in January that the Zika outbreak was “more serious than we can imagine” and that the Brazilian government was unprepared for such a development.

Castro is not stepping down as a result of any of his actions in office, however; he is a member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), formerly part of a unity government with President Dilma Rousseff. In March, the party voted to break away from the ruling Workers’ Party coalition, allowing legislators to vote for Rousseff’s impeachment. The departure forced all PMDB office-holders in Rousseff’s employ, except Vice President Michel Temer, to step down or resign from the party.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/04/29/brazil-nears-100000-zika-cases-less-100-days-olympics/
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« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2016, 05:55:59 pm »

U.S. Reports First Zika Virus Death in Puerto Rico

A man infected with Zika virus in Puerto Rico has died from complications of the infection, health officials said Friday.

The man, in his 70s, died from internal bleeding caused by a rare immune reaction to the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

It's the first death in the United States from Zika virus.

"This demonstrates that, as with Guillain Barre Syndrome cases, that there can be severe manifestations that result from Zika virus infection," the CDC's Tyler Sharp told NBC News.

The victim had a condition called thrombocytopenia — low platelet count that can result in bleeding. Sharp said it's a rare but known complication of Zika and not a sign that the virus is causing worse symptoms than expected.

Zika's spreading fast across Latin America and the Caribbean. The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico's been hit hard, too.

Sharp, an epidemiologist at the CDC Dengue Branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said the man who died developed the low platelet count as a severe side-effect of infection with Zika. It's called immune thrombocytopenic purpura.

"With immune thrombocytopenic purpura cases, our best understanding is those antibodies that normally would be directed against Zika are actually directed against platelets," Sharp said. "It's the immune system attacking the host."

Platelet counts fall, the blood doesn't clot well and a patients can develop bleeding — usually not severe, but sometimes severe enough to cause shock. It can be caused by a number of infections.

"Zika virus continuing to circulate in Puerto Rico," Sharp said.

"If people get an illness with fever and rash, and especially if they develop any bleeding manifestations, they need to seek immediate medical care."

Dengue and chikingunya virus, both relatives of Zika, are also circulating in Puerto Rico. Dengue infection can cause dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can be deadly, especially if not treated quickly.

The CDC and Puerto Rico health department reported the death in a regular update on Zika. Health officials said they tested more than 6,000 people for Zika infection. About 11 percent of them — 683 people — had Zika.

rest: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/zika-virus-outbreak/u-s-records-first-zika-virus-death-puerto-rico-n564886
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« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2016, 05:56:35 pm »

US Cases of Zika Virus Top 400, New Test Gets FDA Approval

The Zika virus continues to spread throughout the Western Hemisphere, including in wide swaths of Central and South America. Concerns are growing for pregnant women because the mosquito-borne virus has been shown to cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain.

Here are the latest updates about the outbreak, which the World Health Organization has deemed a "global health emergency."

Puerto Rico Faces Growing Number of Zika Cases

At least 474 people in Puerto Rico have already been diagnosed with Zika as officials race to curb the outbreak. The virus has already been transmitted from mosquitoes to people on the island, unlike in the continental U.S., where no cases have been contracted from an insect.

This week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said they have awarded $5 million to 20 health centers in the area to help with family planning, contraception and outreach to those most at risk for negative consequence of contracting a Zika infection.

“In Puerto Rico, and around the world, the Zika virus is a serious and challenging health threat,” Secretary of HHS, Sylvia M. Burwell, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are committed to doing everything we can to combat this threat and to help strengthen health care in Puerto Rico.”

First Commercial Zika Test is Approved by FDA

Quest Diagnostics announced today they have received emergency authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell the first commercially available diagnostic test for Zika directly to health care providers. Currently, doctors must coordinate with their state and local health department if they want to test a patient for the virus.

Quest Diagnostics plans to make the new test broadly available to physicians for patient testing, including in Puerto Rico, early next week.

Mosquito-Born Zika Virus Linked to Birth Defects
Experts Explain Key to Stopping Zika Virus From Spreading
Zika Cases in the US Top 400

At least 426 people have been diagnosed with Zika in the 50 U.S. states since the outbreak was first detected late last year. Of those who have been diagnosed, 36 were pregnant women.
All except eight cases were contracted from a person traveling abroad. The eight other cases were sexually transmitted. The virus has not yet been spread in the U.S. through mosquitoes.

In U.S. territories, outside the 50 states, the number of those infected is far higher at 599 people. Among those infected were 59 pregnant women.

South Korea Creates Olympic Outfits that Protect Athletes from Mosquitoes

The South Korean Olympic athletes will have a unique way of avoiding mosquitoes at the summer Olympics in Brazil, thanks to new "Zika-proof" uniforms.

Unveiled this week, the uniforms contain mosquito-repellent to keep athletes safe from mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, according to the Associated Press.

The outfits also feature long pants and sleeves to keep athletes covered during the opening ceremony. Due to strict restrictions, the Korean Olympic Committee could not make similar changes for uniforms worn during competition, according to the AP, but athletes will be able to wear spray insect repellent.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/us-cases-zika-virus-top-400-test-fda/story?id=38760343
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« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2016, 05:58:47 pm »

New discovery means more U.S. states will face a risk from Zika

For the first time in the Western Hemisphere, researchers have detected the Zika virus in Aedes albopictus, the mosquito species known as the “Asian tiger,” a finding that increases the number of U.S. states potentially at risk for transmission of the disease.

During the summer months when U.S. mosquito populations are at their peak, albopictus are more ubiquitous than the Aedes aegypti that have been the primary vector of the spread of Zika elsewhere in the Americas. Unlike the aegypti mosquito, which is mostly present in southern United States and along the Gulf Coast, the albopictus has a range as far north as New England and the lower Great Lakes.

The discovery was reported recently by the Pan American Health Organization after researchers in Mexico confirmed the presence of Zika in Asian tiger mosquitoes captured in the state of San Luis Potosi and sent them to government labs for testing.

U.S. health officials say they had anticipated the finding and have already encouraged states within the range of the Asian tiger mosquitoes to prepare for Zika. Scientists had previously identified the Asian tiger as the primary vector for Zika during a 2007 outbreak in the West African country of Gabon.



U.S. health officials say the latest discovery should serve as a wake-up call to state and local governments that have assumed their populations were too far north to be at risk.

“There are officials who have been saying we don’t have aedes aegypti, so we don’t need to be worried or have a plan,” said Janet McAllister, an entomologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “What CDC is saying is: You need a plan in place because albopictus could transmit Zika in your area, and you need to take it seriously.”

While the methods for eliminating the aegypti and albopictus mosquitoes are similar, they are not identical, experts say, because the two species have significantly different behavioral and breeding patterns.

Unlike the aegypti mosquito, which thrives in urban areas by laying eggs in discarded food containers and old tires, the Asian tiger mosquito lives outdoors, laying its eggs in tree stumps and holes, McAllister said. It doesn’t try to follow humans indoors and prefers leafy forests to dense urban environments. It’s especially fond of suburban back yards and sprawling city parks.

Marcos Espinal, director of communicable diseases at the Pan American Health Organization, said researchers are still trying to determine how effectively the Asian tiger can spread disease in comparison to aegypti.

“Scientists will not be surprised if it’s a competent vector, but we need to find out more,” Espinal said in an interview.

CDC entomologist McAllister said there are several reasons to doubt that the Asian tiger mosquito will be able to drive the kind of Zika outbreak ravaging Brazil, where more than 1,000 infants have been born with undersize heads and severe brain damage probably caused by a Zika-related infection during the early stages of fetal development.

rest: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/new-discovery-means-more-us-states-will-face-a-risk-from-zika/2016/04/29/497ffa98-0d59-11e6-bc53-db634ca94a2a_story.html
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« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2016, 05:02:52 pm »

https://www.yahoo.com/news/number-zika-cases-u-increases-000000591.html

Number of Zika cases in the U.S. increases dramatically, CDC says

Susanna Heller

May 20, 2016

According to the CDC statement, a total of 279 pregnant women have tested positive for Zika in either the U.S. or its territories. Concern about the rapid spread of the virus has caused USA Swimming to move a scheduled pre-Olympic training from Puerto Rico to Atlanta.

The mosquito-borne virus is typically contracted by travelers abroad in Latin American countries, such as Brazil, but can also be transmitted sexually.

Symptoms are typically mild and include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Those infected typically do not need to seek intensive medical care.

However, there is a greater risk for pregnant women.

The CDC has found that when pregnant women contract the virus, there is a direct correlation to miscarriage and severe prenatal brain abnormalities, such as microcephaly, a defect in fetal neurological development that results in a smaller than average head and brain.

The number of reported cases of the virus in pregnant women has increased dramatically because the CDC started to account for asymptomatic cases.

“The full range of outcomes of asymptomatic and symptomatic Zika virus infection during pregnancy is not yet well understood,” the CDC reported.

Within the U.S., 49 percent of the 157 infected pregnant women reported feeling symptomatic. Of the 122 infected pregnant women in the U.S. territories, 66 percent reported clinical symptoms.

“Monitoring all pregnant women with possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy, whether asymptomatic or symptomatic, will enhance understanding of possible adverse outcomes and allow better estimates of the number of pregnancies at risk for adverse outcomes,” the report said.

While many of the pregnancies’ outcomes remain unknown, the CDC will continue to release weekly reports on its findings.

As of now, no one has been infected with the virus by a mosquito within the U.S. However, the CDC warns that the Zika virus will likely continue to spread to new areas as summer air travel increases.

In addition to the CDC’s report, the World Health Organization announced Friday that the same strain of virus that is currently being spread across the Americas has also infected 7,500 people in Cape Verde, a small island off the coast of West Africa.

“The findings are of concern because it is further proof that the outbreak is spreading beyond South America and is on the doorstep of Africa,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, said.
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