[SportMed] MEDICAL: DISEASES: ZIKA VIRUS : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: Zika Virus is a Risk in Border Regions

 

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MEDICAL: DISEASES: ZIKA VIRUS :

COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES:

Zika Virus is a Risk in Border Regions

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Zika Virus is a Risk in Border Regions

By Stephanie Innes

Arizona Daily Star

http://tucson.com/news/local/zika-virus-is-a-risk-in-border-regions/
article_4ef71a98-b1a4-5746-9177-80ed30c48996.html

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Given its history of dengue outbreaks, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands region is a risk area for Zika transmission, a University of Arizona researcher says.

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In recent testimony to the Congressional House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, UA associate professor Kacey Ernst said the environment at the U.S. border with Mexico is highly suitable for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can carry the Zika virus.

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Seven travel-related cases of Zika have been confirmed in Arizonans to date, including one in Pima County.

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Zika is a type of flavivirus that is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito.

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Most people infected with the Zika virus dont get sick, and once a person has been infected, federal health officials say he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

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Those who do fall ill have symptoms that may include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (also known as pinkeye). But of immediate concern is that Zika is linked to a virus that causes birth defects among infants of infected mothers.

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Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection says.

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The CDC is monitoring 287 women in the U.S. with lab evidence of Zika infection. As of June 23, the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry had reported seven live-born infants with birth defects and five pregnancy losses with birth defects.

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In her testimony in D.C., Ernst noted that in the border area, poverty and crowded conditions are common, and there is high mobility between the U.S. and Mexico where Zika transmission is already occurring. In an interview last week she said sexual transmission of Zika in the borderlands is of particular concern.

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Ernst, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the UAs Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, told the Congressional committee that low-income neighborhoods with poor infrastructure and sanitation tend to have more garbage. From there, discarded containers can serve as habitat for the immature mosquitoes.

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