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The Zika virus

  1. Jan 28, 2016 #1


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  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2016 #2
    Getting big time national news now. Expected to hit the states very soon.
  4. Jan 28, 2016 #3


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    The Zika virus outbreaks in South and Central America are quite severe, even prompting El Salvador to recommend that no one in the country gets pregnant until 2018:

    Because Zika relies on mosquitoes for transmission, it has the potential to spread and affect countries where other mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent. Perhaps this might spur conversations about using gene drive technologies to combat mosquito-borne illness, especially given the fact that we are probably a decade away from there being a vaccine for Zika virus.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  5. Jan 28, 2016 #4
    My question is whether it can have an effect if a female contracts the virus while not pregnant but becomes pregnant a year or two later.
  6. Jan 28, 2016 #5


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    From the Centers for Disease Control:
  7. Jan 28, 2016 #6

    jim mcnamara

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    To the best of my knowledge while the viral infection has duration, it is not permanently causing a disease process. It will eventually be endemic in the US:
    https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_156876.html [Broken] - which obviates the travel warning in the future I guess.

    The article very clearly recommends no travel for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. I take that to mean women exposed to the disease in the past are not at risk. It would be nice if there were some explicit declarative statements around that claim, IMO, with some data to back it up. Anybody have a link?

    The virus is a Flavivirus related to West Nile virus. There are no immunizations available for either virus. The reason to mention West Nile is that it was first reported in 1999 and very quickly spread to the lower 48 states. The new range for Zika disease will be limited to the distribution of the mosquito vector, Aedes spp. This range will be the same as West Nile, also spread by Aedes spp.

    I see @Ygggdrasil posted a link above. Thank you sir.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Jan 28, 2016 #7
    It seem like vector-born disease is starting to become a problem for the US, West Nile, dengue, and chagas, have all made their way into the states. It make me wonder whether we should have all individuals entering the US health screened before being allowed to stay in the country. I know its not practical or humanitarian BUT innocent people will suffer and possibly die because there is no barrier in place.
  9. Jan 28, 2016 #8


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    Is it possible to get infected again if you had the virus before?
    If not, there is an alternative future evolution that is not too bad.
  10. Jan 28, 2016 #9


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    Infected individuals would probably develop immunity and be resistant to subsequent infection. Zika virus is common in Africa and Asia and presumably does not cause problems in pregnant women in those areas because women in those areas had probably been infected as children and developed immunity. Zika virus is related to yellow fever, for which there is a vaccine, and dengue, for which a vaccine will soon be available, so there is no reason to think that Zika virus would be any different.
  11. Jan 29, 2016 #10
    How many strains of this virus do we know of? if we are immune to one strain ,we can still be at risk of getting infected by others right ? i read something similar about Ebola.
  12. Jan 29, 2016 #11
    A mutated strain or different strain may not produce the same problem this one presents, for example a different strain may just cause mild flu like symptoms with no incidents of risk of birth defect....on the other hand it could evolve to create something akin to dengue fever in symptom and severity. Flu virus like H1N1 can mutate when coming into contact with different Flu strains in different host species. This is something that's almost impossible to predict or prepare for.
  13. Jan 29, 2016 #12


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    There are two lineages of Zika virus, the African and Asian lineage, and the strain circulating in the Americas is most closely related to viruses from the Asian lineage that that had previously caused an outbreak in French Polynesia in 2013 (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2816%2900003-9/fulltext [Broken]). I don't know if research has been done to see whether immunity to one form of Zika virus confers immunity to all strains of Zika virus, but there are probably people working on this question as we speak.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  14. Jan 29, 2016 #13
    Can they trade off and mutate if both strains were in one host, (spikes RNA and other characteristics) like the flu?

    Just curious
  15. Jan 29, 2016 #14


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    When two different strains of virus infect the same individual and trade genetic material, the process is called recombination. Flu makes recombination easy because its genome is segmented into eight different RNA molecules that co-package into a virion. Therefore, it is easy for different influenza strains to swap segments during co-infection of a host cell. Flaviviruses (like Zika virus) have all of their genetic material on a single RNA molecule, so it is probably not as easy for genetic material from different strains to recombine. There is some evidence for recombination in certain flaviviruses, like Dengue, but other flaviviruses, like Yellow Fever, appear to propagate clonally without recombination (http://jgv.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/jgv/10.1099/vir.0.18660-0). Collecting sequence information from more Zika virus cases around the world should be able to shed light on whether recombination can occur between Zika virus strains.
  16. Jan 29, 2016 #15
    (Just for clarity) my terminology is an incorrect descriptive of the process? mutation is different than recombination?
    I get most of my information through old books or internet search so please forgive the terminology blunder.

    Would it be correct to say that "mutation" can occur without involvement with other strains? ...and... Recombination must be accomplished by different strains trading RNA and genetic information to form New virus strains?
  17. Jan 29, 2016 #16


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    Mutation occurs during the replication of any virus, whether or not there are other strains present. Mutation can lead to evolution of new strains and can potentially alter both the virulence of the virus as well as its ability to be recognized by the immune system (for example, in HIV, most drug resistance comes about from mutation).

    Recombination is a separate process from mutation and involves two strains of the same virus trading genetic material. This can sometimes generate new strains against which few individuals have immunity. For example, a bird flu might recombine with a human flu in a suitable host. Humans will not have immunity to many bird flu strains but these strains do not cause disease because they can't efficiently infect human cells. A human flu strain, on the other hand, can infect human cells just fine, but it's been around so long that many individuals' immune systems have seen a similar virus before and can mount an effective defense. Recombination between the different flu strains could create a strain that combines the worst of both strains—a virus whose surface proteins differ from most human strains, so very few would have any immunity to the strain, while at the same time having the appropriate machinery to efficiently replicate inside human cells.
  18. Jan 30, 2016 #17

    We should let anyone in unchecked who wants to come?

    Then our mosquitoes can bite them, become infected, and spread the disease here.

    "Easy peasy" decision for those who want to weaken the US.

    "There's a growing health concern over illegal immigrants bringing infectious diseases into the United States. Approximately 500,000 legal immigrants and 80,000 refugees come to the United States each year, and an additional 700,000 illegal immigrants enter annually, and three-quarters of these illegal immigrants come from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

    Legal immigrants and refugees are required to have a medical examination for migration to the United States, while they are still overseas. This is the responsibility of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which provide instructions to the Panel Physicians who conduct the medical exams....

  19. Jan 30, 2016 #18
    Just to add a note of cheerfulness, and subject to correction, because I personally have never worked in that field, the Zika virus, though generally vectored by Culicine mosquitoes such as certain species of Aedes, also has been reported as being sexually transmitted between humans and between mother and child, though the conditions for that are not yet fully defined.
    I can't find where I first read that, but it is confirmed here:

    Watch this space.....

    There is a book that by now is now out of date in some respects, but that I strongly recommend for several reasons. If you never have dealt with the problems of eradication of certain classes of species, you pretty certainly have some eye-openers awaiting you:
    Mosquito: The Story of Man's Deadliest Foehttps://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byl...eld-author=Andrew+Spielman&sort=relevancerank
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  20. Jan 30, 2016 #19


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    Here's the reference for a documented case back in 2011 of the probable sexual transmission of Zika virus:
  21. Jan 30, 2016 #20


    Absolutely N O!

    That why I said they SHOULD be heath screened before being allowed to stay, I know detention and quarantine are touchy subjects for the far left. But innocent life's of the people already living here are at risk from such pratice. You can argue human rights all you want of refugees, what about the rights of the healthy population at large being put at risk from less than thrurough inadequate examinations. So what if they don't have a cough or fever???? How hard is it to draw blood and do some testing before risking the life's of the population at large.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
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