Death of Infant in Texas Linked to Zika: State Health Officials

FOX — AUSTIN – The death of an infant born with the birth defect microcephaly in the Houston area has been linked to the Zika virus, with the baby becoming infected in the womb while the mother traveled to Latin America, Texas health officials said on Tuesday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said the infant died in Harris County shortly after birth and had microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies. U.S. health officials have concluded that Zika infections in pregnant women can cause microcephaly.

It was the first Zika-related death reported in Texas, the department said.

“The mother and baby are classified as travel-related cases, and there is no additional associated risk in Texas,” the department said in a statement.

The department said the infant died recently, but did not say precisely when. It also did not identify the country to which the mother had traveled, the name of the mother or the baby’s gender.

The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to a spike in microcephaly in Brazil. The Zika outbreak first came to light last fall in Brazil and has spread rapidly in the Americas.

Texas has reported 97 cases of Zika infection, including the two infants with microcephaly, the department said, adding there have been no reported cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes in Texas.

Florida is the only U.S. state where people have has been infected locally by a mosquito bite.

CLINTON TAKES UP ZIKA AS MOSQUITO-BORNE POLITICAL WEAPON — WASHINGTON TIMES

HARRINGTON DISCUSSES $50 MILLION IN GOVERNMENT WASTE THAT COULD’VE BEEN ALLOCATED TO ZIKA — WFB

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Florida Investigates New Case of Apparent Local Transmission of Zika Virus

FOX — Florida health officials are investigating a new non-travel- related case of Zika virus in Palm Beach County, but it is not yet clear whether the person contracted the virus from local mosquitoes or from a recent trip to Miami.

Governor Rick Scott said in a statement on Monday that the infected person recently traveled to Miami-Dade County, which is experiencing an outbreak of Zika caused by local mosquito transmission. So far, 16 people have been infected in the Miami area. The Palm Beach case brings the state’s tally to 17.

An investigation was under way to determine how the person in Palm Beach County became infected.

The governor said the state still believed active transmission of the virus were confined to a one-square-mile (260-hectare) area in Miami-Dade County that includes Miami’s Wynwood district.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning pregnant women to avoid this area in Miami because Zika has been tied to birth defects, including microcephaly, which can case severe developmental problems.

With the school year approaching, Scott said he had ordered the department of health to work with the state’s department of education “to ensure students, parents, educators and district leaders have all the resources and guidance they need to combat the Zika virus.”

HERE’S $49,577,386 THAT COULD HAVE GONE TO ZIKA RELIEF — WFB

CRUZ, CORNYN PRESS OBAMA FOR ANSWERS ON UNSPENT ZIKA MONEY — DAILY SIGNAL

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Florida Officials Go Into Damage-Control Mode Over Zika

AP — TAMPA, Fla. — Thank goodness it’s the slow season in Florida.

At least that’s what officials and representatives of the state’s multibillion-dollar tourism industry are thinking in the wake of the news that 15 people have been infected with Zika in a small, trendy neighborhood in Miami.

The outbreak has sent another chill through the Sunshine State’s all-important tourism industry just weeks after the Orlando nightclub massacre and the killing of a 2-year-old boy by an alligator at nearby Walt Disney World.

Florida officials have gone into damage-control mode, with Gov. Rick Scott insisting, “We have a safe state!” during a tour of the Zika hot zone in Miami’s Wynwood district.

Tourism is Florida’s biggest industry. Visitors spent some $89 billion here last year. And Disney is America’s No. 1 tourist attraction.

Outside of a few business owners in the affected square-mile neighborhood, however, Zika appears to have done little damage to tourism so far.

“We have not had anyone cancel a trip to Florida because of Zika,” said Jenny Cagle, vice president of Elm Grove Travel in Wisconsin. “It’s definitely a conversation. People are talking about it.”

Demetra Prattas, vice president of Turon Travel, a New York-based company that books art tours and trips, including the annual Art Basel festival that includes events in Wynwood, said: “I don’t think it’s a factor in deciding where to go. We’ve had no cancellations.”

THE FDA JUST GREENLIT RELEASING MUTANT ZIKA-KILLING MOSQUITOES IN FLORIDA — FUSION

ZIKA SENDING A CHILL THROUGH THE SUNSHINE STATE’S TOURISM INDUSTRY — FNL

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How Hipsters Are Spreading Zika in Miami

DAILY BEAST — MIAMI — It was only a matter of time before Zika came to Miami. It could have come to any neighborhood—tree-laden Coconut Grove, tourist-heavy South Beach, historic Little Havana—but it came here to Wynwood, a warehouse district turned street art mecca that has become a mandatory stop on any good Miami itinerary.

According to Joseph Conlon, a technical adviser for the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), the Aedes aegypti mosquito carrying the virus could not have picked a better spot.

“There are a lot of coffee shops, and other shops and restaurants outside, and those could provide areas where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are not only breeding but are feeding upon people,” he told The Daily Beast. “Aedes aegypti mosquitoes like to feed on your lower extremities. They’ll feed on your legs.”

That’s bad news for the legions of sundress-wearing Instagrammers who flock to Wynwood to snap a selfie in front of the Maya Hayuk mural, and for businesses like The Wynwood Yard, an outdoor food truck gathering spot which decided to close indefinitely on Tuesday. As the South Florida Business Journal noted, nearly 30 percent of tourists who stay overnight in Miami-Dade County peel themselves off the beach long enough to take a trip through Wynwood.

But it’s not just the outdoor attractions that make this gentrifying neighborhood an ideal location for virus-laden mosquitoes. The many construction sites in and around the area provide plenty of standing water for the Zika-carrying insects to breed.

In addition to rampant development in Wynwood itself, cranes building new luxury condominium towers on Biscayne Boulevard line the eastern edge of the small area identified by the CDC as a new danger zone for pregnant women and their partners.

“Generally around construction sites, you have catchments of water in any number of things: pails, buckets, trash,” said Conlon. “Anything around a construction site that can hold water is fair game.”

TWO BABIES BORN IN CALIFORNIA WITH BIRTH DEFECTS FROM ZIKA — THE HILL

BRAZIL OPENS PROBE AS CASES OF ZIKA BABIES DEFY PREDICTED PATTERNS — THE GLOBE AND MAIL (UK)

OBAMA ADMIN CALLS FOR ZIKA BILL WEEKS AFTER VETO THREAT — WFB

RIO 2016: ZIKA EPIDEMIC MAKING BRAZIL A ‘HEALTH MESS’ FOR OLYMPICS — FNL

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Miami’s Wynwood, Immigrant Refuge Turned Hipster Haven, Becomes Epicenter of Zika Outbreak

FOX NEWS LATINO — MIAMI – Near a street corner in the west end of Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, Carmen Negrete pours a bucket of grimy water into a storm drain. These days, the hot dog stand owner is taking extra precautions to keep her work area spic and span.

“I don’t want to attract any bugs,” Negrete said. “Given the recent warnings about Zika, one has to be extra careful, especially people handling food.”

Negrete, who came to Miami from Mexico in 1990, has parked her stand on the same sidewalk for the past 10 years, watching Wynwood evolve from once working-class, immigrant heavy community to a trendy, artist powerhouse destination. As the neighborhood faces its first bout of negative press as the epicenter of the first outbreak of locally contracted Zika virus, Negrete told Fox News Latino that Wynwood and its inhabitants have quickly responded to address the crisis.

“If the city wasn’t cleaning the sidewalks, I would do it,” Negrete said. “It doesn’t cost me anything.”

On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant, as well as their partners, not to travel to a small area north of downtown Miami that includes Wynwood. In the past week, Florida health officials have confirmed 14 cases of people infected with Zika virus after being bitten by local mosquitoes in that area, which is roughly 150 square meters. A 15th case was recently discovered in another part of Miami.

AMERICA ON VERGE OF ZIKA PANDEMIC — BREITBART

CDC WARNS PREGNANT WOMEN TO AVOID MIAMI — BREITBART

41 US SERVICE MEMBERS, 1 PREGNANT WOMAN, HAVE CONTRACTED ZIKA OVERSEAS — FOX

MIAMI FIGHTS ZIKA WITH AERIAL INSECTICIDE AS HOMEGROWN CASES TOTAL 15 — BREITBART

HUMAN TRIALS FOR AN EXPERIMENTAL ZIKA VACCINE ARE ABOUT TO START IN THE US — THE VERGE

OBAMA ADMIN CALLS FOR ZIKA BILL WEEKS AFTER VETO THREAT — WFB

FLA. OFFICIALS CONFIRM THREE MORE TRAVEL-RELATED, ONE MORE NON-TRAVEL ZIKA CASES — FNL

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The Zika Battlefield Comes Home to America

DAILY SIGNAL — As some world-class athletes pass up the opportunity of a lifetime to compete at the Rio Olympics due to worries about the Zika virus, the concerns and fears now are striking closer to home. Zika-carrying mosquitoes have come to America.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced this morning that 10 more people in the Miami area, for a total of 14, appear to have contracted the virus from mosquitoes in the U.S.

To date, more than 1,300 people in America reportedly have been infected with the virus either through travel outside the country or sexual contact with a partner who had traveled.

As worrisome as that has been, it is easy to discount the threat: As long as I don’t travel to the wrong places or have sexual contact with anyone who has, I am perfectly safe.

Well, the “battlefield” just changed.

Top Florida health officials announced Friday that mosquitoes likely infected four people in Miami with the Zika virus. These were the first documented cases of mosquito-borne transmission in the continental United States.

In announcing 10 more cases today, Scott asked Monday for a federal emergency response team to help contain the spread of the virus in the U.S., the Associated Press reported.

An emergency response team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help Florida officials in their investigation, sample collection, and mosquito control efforts, AP reported. The White House said the team would be deployed to Florida “in short order.”

Officials in Florida are testing mosquitoes near downtown Miami, where the four patients live, and are offering tests to residents of the area.

As we have discussed before in The Daily Signal, Zika symptoms generally are so mild that those infected may be unaware of it. And even those with more acute symptoms generally recover easily.

AS ZIKA SPREADS IN US, OBAMA HOLDS BACK ON AVAILABLE FUNDING — DAILY SIGNAL

FLORIDA COUNTY APPROVES AERIAL SPRAYING FOR MOSQUITOES IN RESPONSE TO ZIKA OUTBREAK — WASHINGTON TIMES

WHITE HOUSE: ZIKA MONEY IS HALF DEPLETED — THE HILL

33 AMERICAN SERVICEMEMBERS HAVE CONTRACTED ZIKA OVERSEAS — S&S

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General Mills E.coli Warning: Don’t Eat Dough or Batter

FOX — The most basic of baking ingredients, flour, is at the center of a complicated question: How did it become contaminated with bacteria normally found in animal feces?

The E. coli-tainted flour from General Mills has sickened 46 people in 21 states and prompted about 45 million pounds of it to be recalled. And, the Food and Drug Administration is cautioning raw cookie dough and cake batter aficionados not to indulge.

Here’s what federal officials know:

HOW FOUL IS THE FLOUR?

FDA testing determined that raw dough eaten or handled by people who became ill was made using flour was produced between November 2015 and February 2016 at the General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri.

Officials found two different strains of E. coli bacteria that produce a toxin that can make people sick. In the past several years, the CDC has investigated several multi-state outbreaks of these E. coli strains linked to sources such as sprouts, but never raw flour.

——

HOW DID THE E. COLI GET INTO THE FLOUR SUPPLY?

The CDC and FDA don’t know, though they are investigating.

The bacteria lives in animal intestines and is most commonly spread through contamination from feces. Flour is refined from wheat grown in open fields and it is considered a raw agricultural product with no treatment process designed to kill contaminants like bacteria before it reaches consumers. As a result, there’s potential for contamination between the field and the packaging, CDC epidemiologist Dr. Karen Neil said.

——

WHAT TYPES OF ILLNESSES ARE REPORTED AND WHERE?

These strains of E. coli bacteria can cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Most people get better within a week, but some become seriously ill and develop potentially fatal kidney failure. Thirteen people have been hospitalized and one has kidney failure, the CDC said.

Minnesota, where General Mills is based, has had the most illnesses with five. Colorado, Illinois, Michigan each reported four.

——

WHICH PRODUCTS ARE AFFECTED?

The recall is a small fraction of the 2.5 billion pounds of flour General Mills produces in a year.

Batches of unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising flour varieties from General Mills, Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchens flour brands are included. A few cake mixes, a biscuit mix and a pancake mix containing General Mills flour also were recalled. All recalled products can be found here:

ZIKA FEARS IN FLORIDA STIR PARTISAN BLAME FOR CONGRESSIONAL INACTION — WASHINGTON TIMES

MOSQUITOES CLUSTER IN SUBWAYS FOR HORNY FEASTS, RAISING CONCERN — NY POST

ENGLAND WARNS PREGNANT WOMEN AGAINST TRAVEL TO FLORIDA — WASHINGTON EXAMINER

MIAMI RESIDENTS AND TOURISTS STOCKING UP ON MOSQUITO REPELLENT, EATING INDOORS — FNL

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It’s Here: Mosquito-Borne Zika Cases Confirmed in Florida

BREITBART — The Zika virus has conclusively arrived on American shores, as Florida officials announced the first confirmed cases of mosquito-transmitted infections on Friday.

Until now, Zika cases reported in the United States were from travelers who contracted the virus abroad, laboratory exposure, and fifteen cases of transmission through sexual contact, according to NPR. None of those transmission methods is nearly as troubling as the mosquito, especially with the summer season under way.

“Florida has become the first state in our nation to have local transmission of the Zika virus,” Governor Rick Scott announced.

Fortunately, the outbreak appears to be very small, both in terms of people affected and geographic area. ABC News reports three men and one woman are known to be infected so far, living in an area about one square mile in size.

NPR provided a map of the affected area, north of downtown Miami:

“We’re being very aggressive at testing people there we are testing the mosquitoes there and we spraying to make sure it’s contained,” Scott said, offering further assurances that health officials don’t believe transmission is ongoing.

Scott said the state government was working with pest-control companies on improved mosquito control, and to search for signs of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species most commonly associated with Zika. The Centers for Disease Control reports that Aedes mosquitoes can be found all across the southern U.S., and even as far north along the East coast as Connecticut.

Scott said that Florida “currently has the capacity to test 6,609 people for active Zika virus and 2,059 people for Zika antibodies,” and would request more test kids from the CDC as needed. One of the problems with controlling Zika is that many infected individuals experience only mild symptoms, or none at all, but the virus can cause severe birth defects in pregnant women, and occasionally triggers neurological reactions.

THE BEST DRUG TO FIGHT ZIKA MAY ALREADY BE APPROVED AND OUT THERE — FOX

CDC: FIRST LOCAL ZIKA VIRUS OUTBREAK STRIKES FLORIDA — DC

ZIKA CASES LIKELY TRANSMITTED LOCALLY IN U.S. FOR THE FIRST TIME, OFFICIALS SAY — BLOOMBERG

AS ZIKA ARRIVES IN U.S., DEMS WHO BLOCKED FUNDING OVER PLANNED PARENTHOOD DEMAND ACTION — HOT AIR

BRAIN-EATING AMOEBA IN RIO GRANDE NEAR TX — BREITBART

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FDA Tells Fla. Counties to Stop Collecting Blood, Citing Zika

WASHINGTON TIMES — The Food and Drug Administration told two of Florida’s most-populous counties to stop collecting blood until they are able to screen each donated unit for Zika, citing fears that mosquitoes are finally spreading the virus on the U.S. mainland.

The advice to Miami-Dade and Broward counties is in direct response to four mysterious cases that don’t appear to be linked to travel.

“These may be the first cases of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the continental United States,” the FDA said.

Previously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been able to link all 1,657 Zika cases in the states and D.C. back to travelers from hard-hit Latin America, plus one case of accidental laboratory transmission.

The disease typically spreads by mosquito bite, however, and federal and state officials have been girding for a localized outbreak as summer temperatures climb and the insect’s population flourishes.

FIRST CASES OF ZIKA-RELATED MICROCEPHALY REPORTED IN PARAGUAY — FNL

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Mosquitoes Suspected in 2 New Mysterious Florida Zika Cases

AP — NEW YORK — Florida health officials are investigating two more mysterious cases of Zika infection that do not appear to be related to travel, bringing the total to four.

The cases have raised the possibility that mosquitoes in the U.S. have begun to spread the virus. Florida officials say they are still looking into the cases and have not come to a conclusion.

The four cases are in neighboring Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

The cases fit a similar pattern seen when mosquito-borne clusters of two other tropical infections, dengue fever and chikungunya, occurred in Florida in the past, according to Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Evidence is mounting which points to local transmission via mosquitoes,” he said of the Florida cases.

The virus is mainly spread by mosquitoes, as well as sex. So far, the 1,400 infections reported in the U.S. have been linked to travel to countries with Zika outbreaks in Latin America or the Caribbean.

Zika causes only a mild illness in most people. But scientists recently confirmed that infection during pregnancy can lead to severe brain-related birth defects.

ZIKA: CDC HITS THE PANIC BUTTON — BREITBART

FLORIDA NOW INVESTIGATING 4 ZIKA CASES WITHOUT LINKS TO TRAVEL — WASHINGTON TIMES

COLOMBIAN HEALTH OFFICIALS DECLARE END OF ZIKA EPIDEMIC IN THE COUNTRY — FNL

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Smell Test Could Identify Alzheimer’s

US NEWS & WORLD REPORT — “Passing the smell test” may not just be a casual idiom anymore. New research suggests that the decreased ability to identify certain odors may signal early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and future cognitive decline.

The test – dubbed the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test – was the focus of two studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto. Both studies were funded by the National Institute on Aging.

In addition to an MRI scan measuring the thickness of the brain region where Alzheimer’s typically first strikes, the so-called entorhinal cortex, one of the studies used the smell test on 397 adults in Manhattan, who were 80 years old, on average, and didn’t have dementia. Fifty of these people (12.6 percent) had dementia four years after undergoing the initial smell test, while nearly 20 percent showed signs of cognitive decline.

Low smell test scores, or the decreased ability to identify odors correctly, correlated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and appeared to predict cognitive decline.

“Our research showed that odor identification impairment, and to a lesser degree, entorhinal cortical thickness, were predictors of the transition to dementia,” study author Seonjoo Lee, assistant professor of clinical biostatistics (in psychiatry) at Columbia University Medical Center, said in a statement. “These findings support odor identification as an early predictor, and suggest that impairment in odor identification may precede thinning in the entorhinal cortex in the early clinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease.”

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Five Foreign-Born Cases of Multi-Drug Resistant TB Diagnosed in Philadelphia

BREITBART — At least five foreign-born cases of multi-drug resistant TB were diagnosed in Philadelphia over the past three years, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health Tuberculosis Control Program.

One case of the foreign-born ‘MDR’ TB was diagnosed in the city hosting this week’s Democratic National Convention in 2015, two were diagnosed in 2014, and at least two were diagnosed in 2013, though that number may be as high as three or four.

No U.S.- born cases of MDR TB were diagnosed in Philadelphia during these three years, according to the report.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health was not able to identify the status of these five foreign-born cases of MDR TB—whether they were refugees, illegal aliens, or foreign-born legal residents of the United States.

“We have no information on immigration/refugee status of foreign-born persons,” a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health tells Breitbart News.

MDR TB is the very dangerous variant of TB that takes up to two years and $150,000 per patient to treat, and then may have a survival rate as low as 60 percent. Active TB that is not drug resistant, on the other hand, and has been successfully treated using a standard four drug regimen for the past fifty years.

It currently takes six to nine months and approximately $17,000 per patient to successfully treat a case of active TB.

ZIKA ARRIVES IN EUROPE: FIRST BABY WITH ZIKA-LINKED MICROCEPHALY BORN IN SPAIN — FOX

HOW WAR AND CRISIS HELP SPREAD DISEASES LIKE ZIKA — TNI

A NEW STUDY PREDICTS ZIKA WILL BE A BIGGER BEAST THAN ANYONE THOUGHT — TOWNHALL

TENS OF THOUSANDS BABIES MAY BE BORN WITH ZIKA DISORDERS — AFP

MORE THAN A MILLION MOMS AT RISK OF ZIKA, STUDY FINDS — NBC NEWS

PUERTO RICAN CITY SUES TO STOP ZIKA SPRAYING — WASHINGTON EXAMINER

DOMINICAN IMMIGRANTS BRINGING ZIKA VIRUS TO U.S. — VDARE

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How a Caribbean Island Became Prime Source of U.S. Zika Cases

PBS — More than 1,400 Americans contracted Zika while traveling outside the U.S. this year and a Caribbean-island nation is one of the top destinations where they caught the virus.

Visitors to the Dominican Republic account for more than a fifth of the confirmed Zika cases in the U.S. through mid-July, according to data from state health departments. New York, Florida and California alone tally 304 cases linked to the country, the data show.

As Florida officials investigate what may be the first non-travel-associated cases of Zika infection in the U.S., Kaiser Health News looked more deeply into the origins of the 1,404 travel-related cases reported by all states to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For most people, Zika causes flu-like symptoms. Pregnant women are considered especially at risk of the threat because Zika can cause severe birth defects, such as microcephaly.

The CDC does not break out the cases it tracks by country of origin — only by the infected person’s state of residency. It said in June that 48 percent of the travel-associated cases for all of 2015 and through May of this year originated in the Caribbean, 26 percent in Central America and 23 percent in South America. The cases numbered 591 at that time.

CIVILIAN CONTRACT WORKER ON GUANTANAMO INFECTED WITH ZIKA AFTER A TRIP TO JAMAICA — FNL

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Birthright Citizenship for Spawn of Illegals Drives Taxpayers to Face Billion Dollar Expenses for Zika Babies

BREITBART — A Colombian mother came to Harris County, Texas during her third trimester of pregnancy. Her baby was born with Zika-linked microcephaly, a congenital birth defect where the head and brain are only partially developed. If just 100 of these babies are born in the state, it would cost taxpayers over a billion dollars during the lifetimes of the children. The cost for the 400 pregnant women who have tested positive for Zika in the U.S. to date, would total almost $4 billion.

The disease is prevalent in Central American countries, as reported by Breitbart Texas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel advisory warning pregnant women to not travel to Latin and Central America – areas that have been hit hard by the disease.

On July 15, Breitbart Texas reported about the birth of a child in the state with the condition, the first in Texas. The condition prevents a baby’s brain and head from fully developing. The director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden stated in April at the Zika Summit press conference that “a single child with birth defects can usually cost $10 million dollars to care for or more.” That figure seems to be a baseline, but using that number and multiplying it by a hundred infants born with Zika-related problems, is astronomical.

FIRST BABY WITH ZIKA-RELATED MICROCEPHALY BORN IN NEW YORK CITY — NBC NEW YORK

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Fertility Clinics Finding More Women Putting Off IVF Because of Zika Concerns

FOX NEWS LATINO — HOUSTON – Many women across Houston are holding off on having babies for now, and it’s all because of the uncertainty surrounding the Zika virus.

“People are really scared about this because … the only important thing is that someone take home a healthy live baby so going through this process and potentially having an affected child – that can be scary because that’s not the outcome we’re looking for,” said Dr. Jamie Nodler of Houston IVF.

That scary outcome includes microcephaly, a birth defect in which the baby is born with an abnormally small head.

At Houston IVF, an infertility practice, doctors said the Zika virus is at the forefront of patient’s concerns, leading some women to put their baby plans on hold.

“I have had several patients … who have wanted to potentially delay treatment for a while so we have people waiting for a few months to see how it plays out,” said Dr. Nodler.

SEXUAL TRANSMISSION NOT RULED OUT IN FLORIDA ZIKA CASE — FOX NEWS

FLORIDA PROBING 2ND POSSIBLY LOCAL ZIKA CASE — AP

ZIKA VIRUS MAY REMAIN IN SEMEN LONGER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT — ABC NEWS

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Zika Virus May Have Spread to U.S.

TOWNHALL — The Zika virus may have spread to the United States, as it was announced on Wednesday that Florida health officials are investigating a possible case of Zika virus spread by mosquitoes, rather than travelers.

This would be the first case of the Zika virus being transmitted locally.

“Today the Florida Department of Health announced that it is conducting an investigation into a possible non-travel related case of Zika virus in Miami-Dade County,” said the Florida Health Department. “The department is actively conducting an epidemiological investigation, is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and will share additional details as they become available.”

The CDC had already been working with Florida before this reported infection to stop the spread of Zika. “To date, CDC has provided Florida more than $2 million in Zika-specific funding and about $27 million in emergency preparedness funding that can be used towards Zika response efforts,” said the CDC.

Florida is planning on giving out Zika prevention kits and mosquito repellent in the Miami- Dade County. “Mosquito control has already conducted reduction and prevention activities in the area of investigation,” said the Florida Health Department.

Zika can be transmitted mostly commonly through mosquitoes or in some cases sexual transmission. The virus is mostly dangerous to pregnant women as it can cause brain defects and other neurological defections to babies in the womb.

Although this may be the first case of a reported local infection of Zika, the U.S. has already experienced more than 1,300 reported cases of Zika infections from travelers returning from areas with epidemics. There were 346 pregnant women among these 1,300 reported cases, and nine babies have so far been born with ZIka virus birth defects.

Many experts expect an outbreak of the Zika virus in the warmer southern states that have climates that lead to mosquitoes breeding like Texas and Florida.

NOROVIRUS OUTBREAK AT RNC — TOWNHALL

FLA. GOVERNOR BASHES FEDS ON ZIKA FUNDING — WASHINGTON EXAMINER

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Florida May Have First Locally Transmitted Zika Case in US

THE HILL — Florida health officials may have identified the first case of the Zika virus spread by a mosquito in a U.S. state.

The Florida Department of Health said in a statement late Tuesday that officials are investigating a “possible non-travel related case” of the virus in Miami-Dade County. The county is one of the most southern parts of the U.S.

The health department did not specify whether the new Zika case could have been spread by sexual contact, blood transfusion or any of the other known ways that the virus can be transmitted. A spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

If confirmed, it would mark the first time that mosquitoes have spread Zika in the continental U.S., marking a major turning point in the nation’s attempt to prevent an outbreak of the virus.

More than 300 people in Florida, including 43 pregnant women, have reported cases of Zika, which can cause birth defects.

Florida officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch an epidemiological study, according to the statement.

The state did not immediately issue any new guidelines for the Zika virus, though it underscored the importance of avoiding contact with mosquitoes, especially for pregnant women.

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Caregiver Gets Zika From Man Who Died in Medical Mystery

FOX NEWS — SALT LAKE CITY – Utah health officials say a man who died after being infected with Zika virus passed it to a caregiver, creating a medical mystery about how it spread between them.

The Salt Lake County Health Department said Monday that the two people didn’t have sexual contact and the type of mosquito that mainly spreads the virus is not found in the high-altitude area where they live.

Officials say the caregiver is a “family contact” but wouldn’t give further details. The man who died caught the virus while traveling abroad to an area where mosquitoes are known to spread Zika.

It marked the first time a person in the continental U.S. died after being infected with the virus.

The exact cause of the death announced July 8 wasn’t clear because the person was elderly and also had an underlying health condition.

NIH: LACK OF FUNDING ENDANGERS START OF ZIKA VACCINE TRIAL — WASHINGTON EXAMINER

CDC ROUNDS UP MOSQUITOES AS PART OF MYSTERY ZIKA CASE — WE

CDC: ‘EXTREMELY UNLIKELY’ ZIKA AIRBORNE — WE

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To Fight a Virus, Get a Virus: Military Bets on Mutant Pathogen

BLOOMBERG — A pair of brothers working in laboratories on opposite coasts of the U.S. are brewing a new approach to fighting viruses, one that’s drawn interest from the military for protection against the threat of infections such as Zika and Ebola.

The experimental treatment pursued by Ariel Weinberger, a Harvard University biologist, and Leor Weinberger, a virologist at the University of California at San Francisco-affiliated Gladstone Institutes, deploys a tweaked, safe version of a virus to overwhelm the form that invades and kills cells. While it’s very early — the approach has only been tested in test tubes and animals — the U.S. government is ready to invest in developing the idea and seeing whether similar mutants can protect against other diseases.

Each new outbreak that shakes the globe, whether it’s Zika spreading across the Americas or a new worldwide strain of deadly flu, is a reminder of the difficulty of fighting emerging viruses, many of which evolve quickly to frustrate and evade drugs. In a connected world where diseases spread via air travel, new ways to fight them are vital, said Ariel Weinberger, a member of Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

“Diseases transmit — current therapeutics don’t,” he said. “Diseases evolve — current therapeutics don’t. And diseases persist for lifetime and current therapeutics obviously need to be constantly re-administered.”

REFUGEES WTIH MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT TB IN WISCONSIN — BREITBART

SENATE DEMOCRATS MAINTAIN FILIBUSTER, BLOCK ZIKA DEAL FOR SECOND TIME — WASHINGTON TIMES

GOP CALLS OUT OBAMA FOR MILLIONS OF UNSPENT DOLLARS AMID ZIKA FIGHT — THE HILL

THE CDC WANTS YOUR SEMEN (IF YOU’VE HAD ZIKA) — CNN

GOP TO OBAMA: START SPENDING THE ZIKA MONEY YOU HAVE — WASHINGTON EXAMINER

GOP SENATOR: BLAME DEMS IF ZIKA SPREADS — WASHINGTON EXAMINER

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Public Health Threat: 16 Refugees in Colorado Diagnosed With Tuberculosis

TOWNHALL — As the State Department ramps up the number of refugees it admits into the country, many Americans fear terrorists may slip through the cracks and threaten our national security. But a new report from the Colorado state government gives us reason to also worry about refugees’ effects on the public health of the country.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported that 16 refugees out of the total 7,754 were diagnosed with ‘active’ tuberculosis between 2011 and 2014. “Active” means that the disease is contagious.

Another 1,348 refugees in Colorado tested positive for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI), which World Health Organization explained is a condition in which people “do not have active TB disease but may develop it in the near or remote future.”

The rates of TB and LTBI are significantly higher among foreign-born Colorado residents than among American citizens. Breitbart compared the statistics, reporting that TB appeared in one out of every 484 arriving refugees.

“During that same time period, 67 out of the state’s estimated 4.5 million U.S.-born residents were diagnosed with active TB.

HEALTH EXPERTS: ZIKA THREAT IS SERIOUS – AND GETTING BIGGER — MCCLATCHY DC

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Arizona Measles Outbreak Caused by Immigration Detention Center

BREITBART — The nation’s largest measles outbreak may, at least in part, be caused by the refusal of federal immigration detention center workers to get vaccinations. Arizona health officials have pinpointed one detention center as the focal point of the spreading virus.

Health officials in Arizona have confirmed at least twenty-two cases of measles in the state in the past two months. All of the cases have reportedly come from the Eloy Detention Center that is controlled by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Astrod Galvan.

Thomas Schryer, health director for Pinal County, believes the outbreak most likely began with an immigrant being detained. Since that time, the detainees have all been vaccinated. However, some of the employees of the facility appear to be unwilling to get vaccinations and are apparently spreading the virus.

“And so they’re actually the ones that are passing along the measles among each other and then going out into the community,” Schryer said.

The Arizona Department of Health Services lists the following “exposure areas”:

MEASLES OUTBREAK AT AZ IMMIGRANT DETENTION CENTER SPREAD BY WORKERS, OFFICIALS SAY — FNL

COLORADO INCREASES NUMBER OF REFUGEES DIAGNOSED WITH ACTIVE TB TO SIXTEEN — BREITBART

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A ‘Slow Catastrophe’ Unfolds as the Golden Age of Antibiotics Comes to an End

LA TIMES — In early April, experts at a military lab outside Washington intensified their search for evidence that a dangerous new biological threat had penetrated the nation’s borders.

They didn’t have to hunt long before they found it.

On May 18, a team working at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research here had its first look at a sample of the bacterium Escherichia coli, taken from a 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania. She had a urinary tract infection with a disconcerting knack for surviving the assaults of antibiotic medications. Her sample was one of six from across the country delivered to the lab of microbiologist Patrick McGann.

Within hours, a preliminary analysis deepened concern at the lab. Over the next several days, more sophisticated genetic sleuthing confirmed McGann’s worst fears.

There, in the bacterium’s DNA, was a gene dubbed mcr-1. Its presence made the pathogen impervious to the venerable antibiotic colistin.

More ominously, the gene’s presence on a plasmid — a tiny mobile loop of DNA that can be readily snapped off and attached to other bacteria — suggested that it could readily jump to other E. coli bacteria, or to entirely different forms of disease-causing organisms. That would make them impervious to colistin as well.

It was a milestone public health officials have been anticipating for years. In a steady march, disease-causing microbes have evolved ways to evade the bulwark of medications used to treat bacterial infections. For a variety of those illnesses, only colistin continued to work every time. Now this last line of defense had been breached as well.

A second U.S. case of E. coli with the mcr-1 resistance gene was reported this week in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Researchers are still working to determine whether it, or any of 18 other samples from around the world, contained the gene on an easy-to-spread plasmID.

INFECTION EXPERTS WARN OF MORE U.S. SUPERBUG CASES IN COMING MONTHS — REUTERS

SUPERBUG E. COLI FOUND FOR JUST SECOND TIME IN US — ABC NEWS

REID: SENATE DEMS WILL BLOCK ZIKA FUNDING AGAIN — WASHINGTON EXAMINER

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How One ‘Super-Spreader’ Caused Nearly Half of MERS Cases in South Korea

WASHINGTON POST — The outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the huge megalopolis of Seoul from May to July last year was among the most chilling examples of how fast infectious diseases can spread in our modern world.

From a single businessman who acquired the virus abroad, the disease jumped rapidly from person to person until 36 were dead, 186 infected and thousands were quarantined — leaving huge swaths of the South Korean capital region, where 25 million people live, paralyzed with fear.

Schools closed, department store sales tanked, and tourist visas were canceled. The economic toll was so severe that the country’s central bank had to cut interest rates.

Now, doctors involved in the care of the first patients have gone back and documented in exacting detail the geography of MERS as it spread in one hospital. In a paper published Friday in the journal the Lancet, Sun Young Cho and colleagues reconstructed the transmission of the virus through a series of maps, tables and diagrams that would have made Michael Crichton shudder.

First identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, MERS has since made its way around the world and infected people in 27 countries. The illness is severe, with patients developing fever, cough and respiratory distress. The death rate is believed to be more than 30 percent.

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Utah Woman Is 1st Confirmed Zika-Related Death in Continental US

FOX NEWS — A Utah woman has died after becoming infected with the Zika virus, the Salt Lake County Health Department announced Friday.

The elderly woman had an underlying health condition and had traveled to areas with mosquitoes known to spread the Zika virus.

“While this individual did test positive for Zika virus, the exact cause of death has not been determined, and it may not be possible to determine how the Zika infection contributed to the death. Due to health privacy laws, health officials will not release further details about the individual or the individual’s travel history,” the Salt Lake County Health Department said on its website.

The woman died in late June. This is the first confirmed Zika-related death in the continental United States.

The Salt Lake County Health Department said in its statement that there is no threat of Zika virus infection in the area.

RESEARCHERS MAKE PROGRESS ON ZIKA VACCINE — DC

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Largest US Measles Outbreak in Arizona

AP — TUCSON, Ariz. — Health officials in Arizona say the largest current measles outbreak in the United States is in part because some workers at a federal immigration detention center refuse to get vaccinated.

Authorities have confirmed 22 measles cases in Arizona since late May. They all stem from the Eloy Detention Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility managed by the private Corrections Corporation of America.

Pinal County health director Thomas Schryer said the outbreak likely began with a migrant but that detainees have since been vaccinated. Convincing employees to get vaccinated or show proof of immunity has proven much tougher, he said.

“And so they’re actually the ones that are passing along the measles among each other and then going out into the community,” Schryer said.

The facility includes about 350 CCA employees and an unknown number of ICE staffers, although Schryer estimates it’s about 100. ICE doesn’t publicly release staffing levels, nor does it require employees to be immunized. There are currently over 1,200 detainees being held at the facility.

CDC MONITORING 320 US PREGNANT WOMEN FOR ZIKA — FOX NEWS

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