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.
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.
Read more: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/lifestyle/council-declares-war-on-mozzies-as-us-expert-backs-gold-coasts-insect-control-methods/news-story/3ab948a8f245c6b1066b48907dd4d248
The Courier Mail
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.
Read more: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-patients-would-be-confined-to-home-if-they-were-found-to-have-zika-virus/news-story/23c4b2e3baaf769036122cc3336d15b6
February 5, 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.
Read more: http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/human-testing-for-zika-to-begin-in-townsville-for-first-time/news-story/067ed53af372c924aa81b7db00ce10f2
February 4, 2016
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.
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-04/rapid-testing-for-zika-virus-townsville-awareness-campaign/7141572
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: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-04/a-radical-new-proposal-to-prevent-future-zika/7141890
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.
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-04/tonga-declares-zika-epidemic/7141260
Posted in Clinical pathology, Leadership / Management, Travel medicine, Vector borne diseases
Tagged Dengue fever, Genetic engineering, Laboratory tests, Mosquito control, Pacific Islands, Pathology services, Public Health, Queensland Health Minister, Tonga, Townsville Qld, Zika virus
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.
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/zika-virus-testing-to-begin-in-townsville-20160204-gmlmva.html
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 : https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/peBDzwwNn3?play=true
then go to the 1:09:25 mark of the program broadcast for the 20 minute segment
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.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/feb/03/from-ebola-to-zika-tiny-mobile-lab-gives-real-time-dna-data-on-outbreaks?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+AUS+v1+-+AUS+morning+mail+callout&utm_term=154675&subid=28187&CMP=ema_632
Link to Nature article: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature16996.html
Posted in Research, Travel medicine, Vector borne diseases, Virology
Tagged Blood testing, Disease transmission, DNA sequencing, ebola virus, Genetic mutations, Genome sequencing, Genomic analysis, Guinea, Makona strain, MinION device, Zika virus