Archive for April 21, 2016

Zika Virus

N Engl J Med April 21, 2016 V.374 P.1552-1563


L.R. Petersen, D.J. Jamieson, A.M. Powers, and M.A. Honein

From the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, CO (L.R.P., A.M.P.); and the Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (D.J.J), and the Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (M.A.H), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

In 1947, a study of yellow fever yielded the first isolation of a new virus, from the blood of a sentinel rhesus macaque that had been placed in the Zika Forest of Uganda.1 Zika virus remained in relative obscurity for nearly 70 years; then, within the span of just 1 year, Zika virus was introduced into Brazil from the Pacific Islands and spread rapidly throughout the Americas.2 It became the first major infectious disease linked to human birth defects to be discovered in more than half a century and created such global alarm that the World Health Organization (WHO) would declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.3 This review describes the current understanding of the epidemiology, transmission, clinical characteristics, and diagnosis of Zika virus infection, as well as the future outlook with regard to this disease…



April 21, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Zika Virus as a Cause of Neurologic Disorders

N England J of Medicine, April 21, 2016 V.374 P.1506-1509

Broutet and Others

Zika virus infections have been known in Africa and Asia since the 1940s, but the virus’s geographic range has expanded dramatically since 2007. Between January 1, 2007, and March 1, 2016, local transmission was reported in an additional 52 countries and territories, mainly in the Americas and the western Pacific, but also in Africa and southeast Asia. Zika virus infections acquired by travelers visiting those countries have been discovered at sites worldwide. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the principal vectors, though other mosquito species may contribute to transmission. The virus was found to be neurotropic in animals in experiments conducted in the 1950s, and recent experiments have shown how it can cause neural-cell death. A rise in the incidence of Guillain–Barré syndrome, an immune-mediated flaccid paralysis often triggered by infection, was first reported in 2013 during a Zika outbreak in French Polynesia. An increase in the incidence of microcephaly, a clinical sign that can be caused by underdevelopment of the fetal brain, was first reported in northeastern Brazil in 2015, after Zika virus transmission had been confirmed there. These reports of excess cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome and microcephaly led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on February 1, 2016, and to recommend accelerated research into possible causal links between Zika virus and neurologic disorders …


April 21, 2016 at 3:22 pm


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