WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate voted decisively on Tuesday in favor of a bipartisan $1.1 billion measure to combat the Zika virus this year and next, cutting back President Barack Obama's request but offering significantly more money to fight Zika than would House GOP conservatives.
A study of a cluster of Ebola cases that appeared in Liberia last year, months after the country was declared Ebola-free, has found that the virus re-emerged after lying dormant in a female survivor. The results suggest Liberia and the other African countries at the centre of the outbreak should maintain high levels of vigilance for longer than thought to contain any future flare-ups of the deadly haemorrhagic fever. World Health Organization data show West Africa's Ebola epidemic killed more than 11,300 people and infected some 28,600 as it swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia from 2013 in the world's worst outbreak of the disease.
Colombian health authorities on Thursday reported the country's first two cases of microcephaly associated with Zika, the day after US scientists concluded the virus can cause babies to be born with abnormally small heads. Colombia has the second largest number of Zika cases in Latin America after Brazil, putting it on the leading edge of a mosquito-borne epidemic that has spread as far north as the United States. “Colombia confirmed the two first cases of microcephaly associated with Zika,” Colombia's public health ministry said in a statement.
Two people from the same family have died from Ebola in Guinea, the government said Thursday, as the WHO declared a flare-up of the virus in neighbouring Sierra Leone over. The cases are the first in Guinea since the country was declared Ebola free at the end of last year, and the UN health agency warned that a recurrence of the tropical disease — which has claimed 11,300 lives since December 2013 — remained a possibility. WHO declared that flare-up officially over on Thursday after no new cases were seen for 42 days — the length of two Ebola incubation cycles.
NEW YORK (AP) — Pregnant women should avoid traveling to Latin America and Caribbean countries that have outbreaks of a tropical illness linked to birth defects, health officials said Friday.
Augustin Dokla is arguably Togo's most famous person with HIV, having lived with the virus — against the odds –- since 1999. Among friends at Espoir-Vie, the West African nation's largest non-governmental association for people living with HIV, Dokla exudes optimism. Dokla tested positive for HIV in 1999 after a bout of serious pneumonia, which saw him spend three months in hospital.
By Jeb Blount RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A link between a form of fetal brain damage and the mosquito-born zica virus has been confirmed by Brazilian health authorities on Saturday. The link between zica, first medically identified as a new disease half a century ago, and birth defects has never been made. The virus, endemic in parts Africa, South America, Southeast Asia and some Pacific Islands, has until now been blamed for symptoms such as fever, mild headache, skin rashes, joint pain and conjunctivitis, or “red eye.” Initial analysis shows that the virus can be passed to a fetus and that the fetus is at greatest risk from the virus during the first three months of pregnancy, the statements said.
Health officials are investigating how patients were exposed to the virus.
South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn on Tuesday declared the deadly outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was over, Yonhap news agency reported. Thirty-six people died out of the 186 infected in the MERS outbreak, the biggest of the virus outside Saudi Arabia, following the first diagnosis on May 20. “After weighing various circumstances, the medical personnel and the government judge that the people can now be free from worry,” Hwang said in a meeting with government officials, Yonhap reported.
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Samples taken from the 17-year-old boy who died from Ebola in Liberia nearly two weeks ago show the virus is genetically similar to viruses that infected many people in the same area more than six months ago, the World Health Organization said Friday.