Zika Virus Outbreak!

What is ZIKA Virus?

Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.

Zika

What are the Symptoms?

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

ZIKA Discovery

Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases of Zika were detected and since then, outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

Before 2007, at least 14 cases of Zika had been documented, although other cases were likely to have occurred and were not reported. Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to those of many other diseases, many cases may not have been recognized.

In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Local transmission has been reported in many other countries and territories. Zika virus will likely continue to spread to new areas.

USA initiative for ZIKA Control

The US President Obama is calling on congress to fight the Zika virus by providing $1.8 Billion in Emergency funds to rapidly expand mosquito control programs, accelerate vaccine research and diagnostic development, and educate health providers, women and others about the disease to help Zika-affected countries for better control on transmission.

Spread the knowledge to prevent Zika virus!

EurekAlert! – Application of novel alignment-free sequence descriptors in Zika virus characterization

Dr. Basak and his colleagues explained about their research on computer-assisted approaches towards surveillance and consequent design of drugs and vaccines to combat the growth and spread of the Zika virus.

The recent epidemic of Zika virus infections in South and Latin America has raised serious concerns on its ramifications for the population in the Americas and spread of the virus worldwide. The Zika virus disease is a relatively new phenomenon for which sufficient and comprehensive data and investigative reports have not been available to date. Although first recognized as a new virus in 1947 in Uganda’s Zika forest animals, its debilitating effect on human fetuses leading to babies being born with smaller braincases (microcephaly) was not known or well investigated until its epidemic form in Yap Island, Micronesia, in 2013 and now in the South American countries in 2015-16. The concern is so high that public health authorities in some countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Jamaica have asked their women to avoid pregnancies until the virus is better understood. The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled the outbreak of such abnormalities as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.


CREDIT

Dr. Subhash Basak

Read more here: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-04/bsp-aon040816.php

Cancer ‘tidal wave’ on horizon, warns WHO

The globe is facing a “tidal wave” of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered, say World Health Organization scientists.

It predicts the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035, but half could be prevented.

The WHO said there was now a “real need” to focus on cancer prevention by tackling smoking, obesity and drinking.

The World Cancer Research Fund said there was an “alarming” level of naivety about diet’s role in cancer.

Fourteen million people a year are diagnosed with cancer, but that is predicted to increase to 19 million by 2025, 22 million by 2030 and 24 million by 2035.

The developing world will bear the brunt of the extra cases.

Predicted global cancer cases to 2035

Chris Wild, the director of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, told the BBC: “The global cancer burden is increasing and quite markedly, due predominately to the ageing of the populations and population growth.

“If we look at the cost of treatment of cancers, it is spiralling out of control, even for the high-income countries. Prevention is absolutely critical and it’s been somewhat neglected.”

The WHO’s World Cancer Report 2014 said the major sources of preventable cancer included:

  • Smoking
  • Infections
  • Alcohol
  • Obesity and inactivity
  • Radiation, both from the sun and medical scans
  • Air pollution and other environmental factors
  • Delayed parenthood, having fewer children and not breastfeeding

For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, cervical cancer dominates in large parts of Africa.

Dr Chris Wild, WHO: “We’re not going to be able to address this problem by simply improving treatment”

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause. It is thought wider use of the HPV and other vaccines could prevent hundreds of thousands of cancers.

One of the report’s editors, Dr Bernard Stewart from the University of New South Wales in Australia, said prevention had a “crucial role in combating the tidal wave of cancer which we see coming across the world”.

Dr Stewart said human behaviour was behind many cancers such as the sunbathe “until you’re cooked evenly on both sides” approach in his native Australia.

He said it was not the role of the International Agency for Research on Cancer to dictate what should be done.

But he added: “In relation to alcohol, for example, we’re all aware of the acute effects, whether it’s car accidents or assaults, but there’s a burden of disease that’s not talked about because it’s simply not recognised, specifically involving cancer.

“The extent to which we modify the availability of alcohol, the labelling of alcohol, the promotion of alcohol and the price of alcohol – those things should be on the agenda.”

He said there was a similar argument to be had with sugar fuelling obesity, which in turn affected cancer risk.

Continue reading the main story

Meanwhile, a survey of 2,046 people in the UK by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) suggested 49% do not know that diet increases the risk of developing cancer.

A third of people said cancer was mainly due to family history, but the charity said no more than 10% of cancers were down to inherited genes.

Amanda McLean, general manager for the WCRF, said: “It’s very alarming to see that such a large number of people don’t know that there’s a lot they can do to significantly reduce their risk of getting cancer.

For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women

“In the UK, about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through being a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and being regularly physically active.

“These results show that many people still seem to mistakenly accept their chances of getting cancer as a throw of the dice, but by making lifestyle changes today, we can help prevent cancer tomorrow.”

It advises a diet packed with vegetables, fruit, and wholegrains; cutting down on alcohol and red meat; and junking processed meat completely.

Dr Jean King, Cancer Research UK’s director of tobacco control, said: “The most shocking thing about this report’s prediction that 14 million cancer cases a year will rise to 22 million globally in the next 20 years is that up to half of all cases could be prevented.

“People can cut their risk of cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices, but it’s important to remember that the government and society are also responsible for creating an environment that supports healthy lifestyles.

“It’s clear that if we don’t act now to curb the number of people getting cancer, we will be at the heart of a global crisis in cancer care within the next two decades.”

Vote Against Smoking

With every single cigarette that you smoke, you lose eleven minutes of your life!

Smoking is responsible for several diseases, such as cancer, long-term (chronic) respiratory diseases, and heart disease, as well as premature death. Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in the world.

Share this message if you believe in a “Smokingless World’ like us!

Bentham Votes Against Smoking
Bentham Votes Against Smoking

 

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