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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic; Now tracking the Aussie Flu.

Possible New Vector

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Technophobe View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 28 2016 at 1:57am

Zika Virus May Have Spread To Common Mosquito

By Alex Crawford, Special Correspondent, in Recife

Scientists in Brazil believe the devastating Zika virus may have already crossed over to the common mosquito, dramatically increasing the risk of it spreading worldwide.

The Brazilian government is already struggling to contain a growing public health disaster.

There are suspicions the mosquito-borne virus is linked to more than 4,000 babies with brain deformities in South America's largest country.

The authorities have called troops out on to the street and deployed teams of health workers to try to combat the spread but so far those at the forefront admit they are nowhere near succeeding.

Up until now, it was thought the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is confined to the tropics, was solely spreading the virus.

Zika Virus Veronica
< ="video__play--icon" style="font-family: inherit; margin: 0px; cursor: pointer; : ; left: 13px; bottom: 8px; -: http:/ews.sky.com/s/02bdf2f4.play-icon.png; -size: contain; width: 44px; height: 44px; border: none; -: 0px 0px; -repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">Play video "'My Prince': Mum's Pride And Pain"
Video: 'My Prince': Mum's Pride And Pain

But scientists at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Recife, Pernambuco State, in the northeast of the country, believe otherwise.

They say they are as little as a month away from confirming that the virus is also being carried and transmitted by the much more common Culex mosquito.

There are 20 times more Culex mosquitos in existence as the Aedes aegypti and they are significantly more widespread - breeding throughout most of the Americas, parts of Africa and Asia - so increasing the chances of the virus spreading.

The lead research scientist at the foundation, Constancia Ayres, told Sky News that if her suspicions are confirmed, the implications are huge. 

"It means much more combined efforts from a lot of other countries are going to be needed to combat this virus," she said.

Baby in Brazil with microcephaly after mother got Zika virus while pregnant
< ="video__play--icon" style="font-family: inherit; margin: 0px; cursor: pointer; : ; left: 13px; bottom: 8px; -: http:/ews.sky.com/s/02bdf2f4.play-icon.png; -size: contain; width: 44px; height: 44px; border: none; -: 0px 0px; -repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">Play video "What Is The Zika Virus?"
Video: What Is The Zika Virus?

Dr Vanessa Van Der Linden, from the Barao de Lucena Hospital in Recife, was the first person to spot a possible link between the Zika virus and a spike in the increase in microcephaly births, a dangerous condition where babies are born with abnormally small heads.

"I saw three cases of microcephaly in one day last August when normally I would see one maybe every three months," she said.

"It was very strange."

She said so little was known about the virus and its effects, she and the other doctors were learning "as we go along".

The virus has no cure and no vaccine and although efforts have now been stepped up to develop one, it's far too late for the thousands already condemned to a lifetime of struggle - where their hearing and sight may be affected, where their brain development will be limited and their life expectancy shortened.

BRAZIL SLUM WHERE ZIKA SPREADING MOSQUITO BREEDS
< ="video__play--icon" style="font-family: inherit; margin: 0px; cursor: pointer; : ; left: 13px; bottom: 8px; -: http:/ews.sky.com/s/02bdf2f4.play-icon.png; -size: contain; width: 44px; height: 44px; border: none; -: 0px 0px; -repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">Play video "The Breeding Ground Slums For Zika"
Video: The Breeding Ground Slums For Zika

Dr Angela Rocha is from the Oswaldo Cruz University Hospital, which has seen more than 300 microcephaly cases in the last five months.

She said: "We just don't know much about this virus at all. The mothers ask me ,'Will it get better? Will my baby's head grow?'

"And I have to tell them 'no, it's never going to get better'."

Source:  http://news.sky.com/story/1631065/zika-virus-may-have-spread-to-common-mosquito

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Albert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 28 2016 at 6:55am
Now that would be some bad news.  Could you imagine all common mosquitos carrying this thing?   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 28 2016 at 10:09am
I worry about our Scottish midges.  They are not just endemic, they are colossally abundant, several thousand per sq meter.  They (and gnats) are a close mosquito cousin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 28 2016 at 10:45am
It's definitely a worldwide concern and unfortunately it appears to be heading to all corners of the globe.  Your concern is warranted. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 28 2016 at 11:26am
Aren't midges the national bird of Scotland, Techno?
Changing climates are only going to make things like this more prevalent - we now have Asian Tiger mosquitoes in SoCal. They were practically unheard of in this neck of the woods a few years ago, and now they're seemingly everywhere. I just spent the summer getting eaten alive by them - they're aggressive as hell, feed all day, and they'll follow you inside once they pick up your scent.
Zika finding new bugs to hitch a ride on is a very real danger - or their existing hosts moving to new areas is another possibility. Either one is not going to be good.


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"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 28 2016 at 1:36pm
They might as well be our national animal:  Scotland seems to be largely composed of them. Ouch

Yep, Climate change could be the end of us.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 28 2016 at 2:22pm
Nah. Just the non-preppers...
"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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