Baby born in Hawaii with Zika virus; Brazil developing vaccine

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. On Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, U.S. health officials are telling pregnant women to avoid travel to Latin America and Caribbean countries with outbreaks of a tropical illness linked to birth defects. The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti and causes only a mild illness in most people. But there’s been mounting evidence linking the virus to a surge of a rare birth defect in Brazil. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

HONOLULU (AP) — A baby born in an Oahu hospital has tested positive for the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Health officials say there is no risk of transmission in Hawaii, where there has never been a case of a person acquiring Zika in the state. Six people have acquired the virus in other countries since 2014.

Common symptoms can last up to a week and include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the mother was likely infected while in Brazil in May 2015.


SAO PAULO (AP) — The Brazilian government announced it will direct funds to a biomedical research center to help develop a vaccine against a virus linked to brain damage in babies.

Health Minister Marcelo Castro said Friday that the goal is for the Sao Paulo-based Butantan Institute to develop “in record time” a vaccine for Zika, which is spread through mosquito bites.

Institute director Jorge Kalil said that is expected take 3 to 5 years.

Brazil is currently experiencing the largest known outbreak of Zika. The virus has been linked to a recent surge in birth defects including microcephaly, a rare condition in which newborns have smaller than normal heads and their brains do not develop properly.

The Health Ministry says 3,530 babies have been born with microcephaly in the country since October. Fewer than 150 such cases were seen in all of 2014.

Most have been concentrated in Brazil’s poor northeast, though cases in Rio de Janeiro and other big cities have also been on the rise, prompting people to stock up on mosquito repellent.

Some women of means have left the country to spend their pregnancies in the United States or Europe to avoid infection.

The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can also carry dengue and chikungunya.

“Today there is only one way to fight the Zika virus, which is to destroy the mosquito’s breeding grounds,” Castro said. “The final victory against the virus will only come when we develop a vaccine against that disease.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert Friday advising pregnant women to avoid traveling to Brazil and several other countries in the Americas where Zika outbreaks have occurred.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s