Category Archives: Vector borne diseases

INCLUDES Arbovirus (Chikungunya, Dengue, Encephalitis, Japanese Encephalitis, Murray Valley Encephalitis, Ross River, West Nile), Insect-borne diseases, mosquitos, entomology with regard to mosquitos, emerging disease.
Use VIROLOGY for waterborne diseases.
EXCLUDES Bat-borne diseases (USE Hendra or Lyssavirus) .

Zika virus sparks abortion debate in Brazil

ABC News Adriana Brasileiro 5 Feb 2016

The Zika virus has triggered a renewed debate about abortion in Brazil.
Activists believe women must be allowed to legally have abortions in cases where the baby is diagnosed early with microcephaly, a condition linked to the virus.
There have also been calls for all pregnant Zika-infected women to have the right to termination.
Guacira de Oliveira, a sociologist at CFEMEA, a leading feminist organisation in the capital, Brasília, said a spike in abortions was inevitable.

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Council declares war on mozzies as US expert backs Gold Coast’s insect control methods

Gold Coast Bulletin February 5, 2016

GOLD Coasters must remain “on point” in dealing with mosquitoes to protect the city against the deadly Zika virus according to an international US expert.
Panama City Beach-based entomologist Mike Riles is visiting the Gold Coast to observe the council’s $2.2 million mosquito spraying operation.
The Florida expert said the Gold Coast’s methods of dealing with mozzie was “eye-opening”.
While the deadly virus has not arrived in the region, he said the city had to remain vigilant.
“The primary vector for urban areas for the Zika virus is not present on the Gold Coast at this time but with biology and ecology, anything is possible,” he said.

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Zika virus [compilation] 5 February 2016

The Courier Mail February 5, 2016
Queensland patients would be confined to home if they were found to have Zika virus
QUEENSLANDERS infected with Zika virus would be confined to their home and health authorities would track mosquitoes that may have bitten them in an effort to stop an outbreak of the virus.
The virus sweeping the world will be treated in the same way as dengue fever in Queensland if a case was detected here.
“What’s good for dengue is good for Zika,” Health Minister Cameron Dick declared yesterday, following a meeting of national experts in Brisbane who strategised the state’s response to the outbreaks overseas.
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Townsville Bulletin February 4, 2016
Human testing for Zika to begin in Townsville for first time
TESTING for Zika in humans will begin in Townsville for the first time to help combat the threat the mosquito-borne virus poses to Queensland.
The State Government will spend $400,000 to increase the capacity of its laboratories – including one in Townsville – to rapidly test for the Zika virus.
Health authorities believe it is important enhanced testing be made available where the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the virus, is found.
Queensland Health will also spend $1 million to develop a campaign to educate people on the role they can play in reducing the spread of mosquitoes.
The campaign would target both the dengue and Zika virus.
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ABC News Nick Wiggins 4 Feb 2016
Zika virus: Rapid-testing centre to be set up in Queensland
A special pathology centre will be set up in Townsville to rapidly test for Zika virus in humans, but authorities say there is still a minimal risk in Queensland.
Ten people have returned to Queensland from overseas with the virus since 2014, but it has not made its way to the state’s mosquito population.
A range of frontline measures were discussed at a meeting of health experts in Brisbane on Thursday.
The State Government will spend $400,000 to increase the capacity of its laboratories, including the new testing centre in Townsville.
A $1 million awareness campaign will also be launched, targeting far north Queensland where the type of mosquito that can spread the virus is found.
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ABC The Drum Broadcast 4 Feb 2016
A radical new proposal to prevent future Zika virus outbreaks
Australian researchers are proposing the use of genetic technologies to eliminate several species of mosquitoes. They say it could prevent future outbreaks of deadly viruses like Zika.
to watch program:

ABC News 4 Feb 2016
Tonga declares Zika epidemic after five cases confirmed, nearly 260 tested for virus
Tonga has declared a Zika epidemic after confirming five cases from testing nearly 260 people for the mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to birth defects.
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Zika virus testing to begin in Townsville

Brisbane Times Jorge Branco February 4, 2016

Testing for Zika virus will begin in Queensland’s vulnerable far north amid moves to prevent an outbreak of the disease.
Health Minister Cameron Dick again stressed the risk of an outbreak was low, following a roundtable meeting on Thursday with experts from around the country.
He and Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young said the state was well prepared to defend against the global health emergency because of years of controlling the spread of dengue virus, another mosquito-borne disease.

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ABC Brisbane Radio 612 discussion on mosquito-borne diseases

ABC Radio Brisbane Steve Austin with Karl Kruszelnicki 4 February 2016

Science Talkback/Discussion with Medical Entomologist from University of Sydney

To listen click link :

then go to the 1:09:25 mark of the program broadcast for the 20 minute segment

From Ebola to Zika, tiny mobile lab gives real-time DNA data on outbreaks

The Guardian Australia Lisa O’Carroll 4 February 2016

A genomic surveillance system which fits in a suitcase can help health workers to quickly understand the spread of viruses and break the chain of infection.
A revolutionary DNA sequencing instrument which could help break the chain of transmission of viruses such as Ebola and Zika has been developed by British scientists.
It can help identify mutations in viruses in real time, allowing health workers in emergencies to quickly establish the evolution and geographical journey of the virus through communities.
The pocket-sized MinION device was developed by an Oxfordshire science company, and results published on Wednesday in the journal Nature show it was able to help identify the unique genetic sequence of the Ebola virus in patients within 24 hours.

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Link to Nature article:

Zika virus [compilation] 3 February 2016

Zika virus: Queensland public health experts to discuss threat (ABC News 2 February 2016)

Zika virus: Risk of a widespread outbreak in Australia ‘low’ experts say (ABC News 2 February 2016)

Zika: Texas [US] reports case of sexually-transmitted virus (ABC News 3 February 2016)

Health experts warn Zika virus will enter Australia, with north Queensland likely spot for outbreak (The Courier Mail 3 February 2016)

Zika emergency status a cause for alert, not alarm (The conversation 2 February 2016)

Here’s why we don’t have a vaccine for Zika (and other mosquito-borne viruses) The conversation 2 February 2016

CDC hosts Zika virus teleconference to reassure US citizens (BioPrepWatch 2 February 2016)

PNG on high alert to keep Zika virus out of the country (ABC News 3 February 2016)