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Confirmation that Zika causes microcephaly shifts debate to prevention

After several weeks of study and debate, U.S. health officials concluded that infection with the Zika virus during pregnancy causes the birth defect microcephaly, a finding that experts hope will refocus attention on efforts to stop infections and prompt U.S. lawmakers to fund emergency prevention efforts.   “There isn’t any doubt that Zika causes microcephaly,” […]

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Congress sends Obama bill on Zika drug development

U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday approved a bill to provide financial incentives to companies developing treatments for the Zika virus, and the White House said President Barack Obama was expected to sign the legislation although it is insufficient to meet the challenge. The measure allows the Food and Drug Administration to include Zika drug developers in […]

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U.S. officials warn Zika ‘scarier’ than initially thought

Top health officials expressed heightened concern on Monday about the threat posed to the United States by the Zika virus, saying the mosquito that spreads it is now present in about 30 states and hundreds of thousands of infections could appear in Puerto Rico. At a White House briefing, they stepped up pressure on the […]

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Brazilian scientists find new Zika-linked brain disorder in adults

Scientists in Brazil have uncovered a new brain disorder associated with Zika infections in adults: an autoimmune syndrome called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, or ADEM, that attacks the brain and spinal cord.   Zika has already been linked with the autoimmune disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome, which attacks peripheral nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, causing temporary […]

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Brain scans of microcephalic babies suggest Zika disrupts development

Brain scans of 23 Brazilian infants with the birth defect microcephaly showed widespread and severe abnormalities suggesting that Zika may invade fetal nerve cells and disrupt brain development.   The findings, published on Wednesday in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, are based on a large trove of computed tomography, or CT […]

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Vietnam reports first Zika infections, raises alarm

Mosquitoes have infected two women with the Zika virus in Vietnam, health authorities said on Tuesday, in the country’s first cases of a disease linked in Brazil to thousands of suspected cases of microcephaly, a rare birth defect. A 64-year-old woman in the beach city of Nha Trang and a pregnant 33-year-old in Ho Chi […]

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FDA permits use of Roche test to screen donated blood for Zika

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it would allow the use of an experimental test to screen donated blood for the Zika virus.

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Genetic study tracks start of Zika’s invasion of Americas back to 2013

The Zika virus currently sweeping through the Americas looks to have hitched a ride on a plane into Brazil in 2013 and begun its invasion of the continent from there, scientists said on Thursday.   In the first genome analysis of the current Zika epidemic, which has been linked in Brazil to cases of birth […]

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House speaker says U.S. has ‘plenty of money’ for Zika

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said on Tuesday that the federal government has enough funds to deal with the Zika outbreak, without having to resort to funds set aside separately for Ebola in Africa.   “There is plenty of money in the pipeline right now, money that is not going to Ebola, that […]

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Brazil says confirmed and suspected microcephaly cases rise to 5,131

The number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil associated with the Zika virus has risen to 5,131 from 4,976 a week earlier, the Ministry of Health said on Friday.   Of these, the number of confirmed cases climbed to 863 from 745 a week earlier, while suspected ones increased to 4,268 from […]

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