Brisbane Times Jorge Branco 30 May 2016
Cairns residents are being urged to kill mosquitoes in response to a resident testing positive to Zika virus after returning from Thailand and Bali. A Tropical Public Health Services spokeswoman said the diagnosis was confirmed on Friday, with spraying taking place in Gordonvale over the weekend and continuing on Monday.
ABC News Irena Ceranic 29 May 2016
Yesterday, 150 international doctors, scientists and researchers wrote an open letter to the World Health Organisation (WHO) calling for the games in Rio de Janeiro in August to be moved or delayed due to the virus, which is linked to serious birth defects. But the United Nations health agency rejected the call, saying that having the Games in Rio as planned would “not significantly alter” the spread of Zika.
ABC News Frances Adcock and Sharnie Kim 27 May 2016
Health authorities are concerned there may be unreported dengue fever cases in the Cairns region in far north Queensland.
A Manoora resident has fallen ill, despite not having travelled overseas recently, suggesting they caught the mosquito-borne virus locally.
“The people that may have been bitten at the same time yes [they’re concerning],” Dr Richard Gair from Tropical Public Health Services said.
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-27/fears-of-locally-acquired-dengue-case-in-cairns/7450950
BBC News 25 May 2016
Scientists studying the Zika outbreak in Brazil are becoming increasingly concerned the virus may cause eye damage in babies.
Stanford University researchers found abnormal bleeding and lesions in the eyes of three infant boys whose mothers had caught Zika while pregnant.
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-36366946
Link to article in Ophthalmology: http://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420%2816%2930277-9/fulltext
The Sydney Morning Herald Henry Belot May 25, 2016
Australian veterans have welcomed a British parliamentary report calling on the Ministry of Defence to overhaul its use of controversial drug Lariam, known in Australia as mefloquine.
Both British and Australian veterans have linked the drug to insomnia, hallucinations, depression and vertigo. In some cases, the drug has complicated post-traumatic stress diagnoses and been blamed for suicidal thoughts.
The report, commissioned after an inquiry last year, found there was “very strong anecdotal evidence” showing British officers ignored warnings from the drug’s manufacturer and dispensed it to large numbers of troops.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-veterans-welcome-british-report-on-controversial-drug-mefloquine-20160525-gp3h94.html
Link to UK Parliament Report: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/defence-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/inquiry/
May 25, 2016
At the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva this week, the WHO’s Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan highlighted the challenges to global public health of infectious diseases in an interconnected world.
“Above all, the spread of Zika, the resurgence of dengue, and the emerging threat from chikungunya are the price being paid for a massive policy failure that dropped the ball on mosquito control in the 1970s,” she said. A related extract from her speech follows below.
Beneath this is an article by three Queensland scientists, Dr Katherine E Arden, Dr Sonja Hall-Mendelin and Dr Ian M Mackay investigating how scientists are responding to the threat of mosquito-borne viruses in Queensland, one of the most susceptible places in Australia.
Read more: http://croakey.org/as-who-warns-of-the-rising-threat-of-mosquito-borne-diseases-queensland-scientists-profile-the-response-to-zika/
(Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies 19 May 2016) In the recent issue of EMBO reports, Barbara Han of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and John Drake of the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology call for the creation of a global early warning system for infectious diseases. Such a system would use computer models to tap into environmental, epidemiological and molecular data, gathering the intelligence needed to forecast where disease risk is high and what actions could prevent outbreaks or contain epidemics.
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