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Zika - News

Zika - Information, FAQs and Research

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An expanding list of information resources on Zika virus . . .

CDC - Zika Virus - Case Counts in the US
https://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/united-states.html

CDC - Zika Virus - Timeline of "What's New"
http://www.cdc.gov/zika/whats-new.html

CDC Newsroom Releases
http://www.cdc.gov/media/archives.htm

HealthMap - 2014 Ebola Outbreaks

                                  (FOR THE INTERACTIVE MAP - CLICK ON THE MAP IMAGE BELOW)

      

http://healthmap.org/ebola/#timeline

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Costa Rica Runs Entirely on Renewable Energy for 300 Days

submitted by Jeff Williams

           

"Eólica" or wind power plant in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. ICE Group / Twitter

ecowatch.com - by Lorraine Chow - November 21, 2017

Costa Rica has charted another clean energy accolade. So far this year, the Central American country has run on 300 days of 100 percent power generation from renewable energy sources, according to the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE), which cited figures from the National Center for Energy Control. . . .

 . . . Costa Rica currently receives 99.62 percent of its electricity from five renewable sources, the highest proportion since 1987. This year, 78.26 percent of electricity came from hydropower, 10.29 percent from wind, 10.23 percent from geothermal energy and 0.84 percent from biomass and solar. 

Costa Rica has emerged as a global environmental leader, with its frequent 100 percent renewable energy streaks and its 2021 goal of becoming carbon neutral—a deadline set a decade ago.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Where Does the Ebola Virus Hide Between Outbreaks?

           

Photo by Steve Babuljak

ucsf.edu - by Samantha Ancona Esselmann, Samantha Hindle and Ben Mansky - October 24, 2017

Joe DeRisi, PhD, is a master detective of infectious diseases. No matter how obscure or complex, he says he’ll take on the challenge because “it could lead to new biology that we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.”

That's precisely what happened when he stumbled on a clue to cracking the decades-long search for the place – or creature – where the Ebola virus hides between deadly outbreaks. . . .

 . . . In 2009, DeRisi began studying an incurable disease that was killing reptiles raised in captivity, a disease that caused strange neurological symptoms ranging from vomiting to uncontrollable contortions. They found the culprit – a previously undescribed arenavirus – and uncovered something surprising: the Arenavirus’s glycoprotein, a viral “access badge” to the secure insides of a cell, actually belonged to the Ebola virus.

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The Fight Against Famine Needs More Voices

           

A woman dries a small quantity of sorghum on May 31, 2017, outside her house in Panthau, Northern Bahr al Ghazal, South Sudan. Albert Gonzalez Farran—AFP/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - International Rescue Committee (IRC) - Ending famine is defining global issue for millennials

time.com - by Liz Schrayer - August 3, 2017

 . . . A recent poll by the International Rescue Committee found that an astounding 85% of Americans are unaware that 20 million people — more than the populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia combined — are living on the verge of starvation in just three African countries plus Yemen.

We have news on 24 hours a day. We live with unprecedented connectivity. And yet we don’t even know that simple fact. That is disturbing.

But that same poll also bears some good news: Once they learn about the famine crises, the vast majority of millennials see it as one of the world’s most pressing global issues . . . 

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

 

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Graziano da Silva: 20 Million People Could Starve to Death in Next Six Months

The 156th session of the FAO Council runs from 24-28 April 2017.

Famine in the spotlight at FAO Council

fao.org - April 24, 2017

Urgent action is needed to save the lives of people facing famine in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, FAO Directory-General José Graziano da Silva said today at the opening of the UN agency's Council. 

"If nothing is done, some 20 million people could starve to death in the next six months," the Director-General said in his opening address. "Famine does not just kill people, it contributes to social instability and also perpetuates a cycle of poverty and aid dependency that endures for decades."  

Council members will be briefed on the extent of the hunger crises, and the steps required to prevent catastrophe, during the week-long session.

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Nigeria: Meningitis - the Killer Disease Ravaging Nigerians

allafrica.com - April 6, 2017

 . . . Nigerians should take precautions against meningitis . . .

 . . . The disease has also spread to 16 states, the Federal Capital Territory and 90 local government areas in the country. States affected so far are Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Nassarawa, Jigawa, Gombe, Taraba , Yobe, Kano, Osun, Cross Rivers, Lagos, Plateau and FCT . . .

 . . . although this was not the first time or the worst epidemic ever faced by Nigeria, this round of the epidemic has come with a difference, as all previous epidemics were caused by Neisseria Meningitides type 'A' but this year's own was recording Neisseria Meningitides type C in epidemic proportion for the first time.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

CLICK HERE - WHO - Disease Outbreak News - Meningococcal Disease – Nigeria - March 24, 2017

CLICK HERE - Death toll in Nigeria meningitis outbreak up to 489

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The Mission to Stop Ebola: Lessons for UN Crisis Response

CLICK HERE - International Peace Institute - The Mission to Stop Ebola: Lessons for UN Crisis Response (28 page .PDF report)

reliefweb.int - February 15, 2017
ADAM LUPEL AND MICHAEL SNYDER

Executive Summary

The Ebola epidemic of 2014–2016 was a fastmoving, multidimensional emergency that pre - sented unprecedented challenges for the multi - lateral system. In response to the outbreak, which was spreading exponentially in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established the UN’s first-ever emergency health mission, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). UNMEER was mandated by the UN General Assembly in September 2014 to scale up and coordinate the activities of the UN presence on the ground working to stop the outbreak, which eventually claimed over 11,000 lives.

This report asks: Was UNMEER needed? Was it properly structured? Did it deliver? And what broader lessons can be learned from the experience of UNMEER for UN crisis response?

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7 Forgotten World Crises That Urgently Need Your Support

           

ANDRES MARTINEZ CASARES/REUTERS

The world’s humanitarian needs are growing. So is the aid gap.

huffingtonpost.com - by Jesselyn Cook - January 13, 2017

The global need for humanitarian aid has reached a level not seen since World War II. More than 128 million people in 33 countries are now affected by crises, including conflict and natural disaster . . . 

 . . . Despite the worsening nature of many of the world’s crises, internet traffic reveals “public fatigue” ― a decline in interest ― for the first time in three years, according to U.N. data. And, as the world’s humanitarian needs grow, the gap between funds needed and funds raised has widened.

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World Disasters Report 2016 - Resilience: Saving Lives Today, Investing for Tomorrow

New report calls for a major shift in international aid financing

CLICK HERE - REPORT - World Disasters Report 2016 - Resilience: Saving Lives Today, Investing for Tomorrow

ifrc.org - October 13, 2016

A lack of global investment in strengthening community resilience is leaving tens of millions of people exposed to predictable, preventable and catastrophic disaster risks, stresses the World Disasters Report 2016, launched today by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

According to the report, despite broad recognition that investing in resilience before a disaster can save lives and money, only 40 cents in every 100 US dollars spent on international aid is invested in preparedness and measures to reduce disaster risk.

“Investing in resilience is the best method we have for protecting the lives, livelihoods and dignity of the world’s most vulnerable people,” said IFRC Secretary General, Elhadj As Sy. “Business as usual is no longer acceptable. It will only lead to more silent suffering and deeper poverty.

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The New Debate Over Bed Nets

           

A mother and her 7-month-old daughter sit beneath a mosquito net at a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.  Roberto Schmidt /AFP/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Implications of insecticide resistance for malaria vector control (4 page .PDF file)

npr.org - by Jason Beaubien - November 22, 2016

. . . "there's growing evidence that mosquitoes are developing resistance to the insecticide used in the nets.

Now the World Health Organization has just completed a 5-year, 5-country study looking into whether nets might be becoming less effective."

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

 

 

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Post-Ebola, West Africans Flock Back to Bushmeat, With Risk

submitted by Jeff Williams

            

FILE-In this file photo taken on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, Yaa Kyarewaa, await clients as she stands next to her makeshift bush meat shop at one of the largest local markets in Accra, Ghana. As the deadly outbreak of Ebola has subsided, people in several West African countries are flocking to eat bush meat again after restrictions were lifted on the consumption of wild animals like hedgehogs and cane rats. But some health experts call it a risky move. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson, File) 

Associated Press - by HILAIRE ZON and CARLEY PETESCH - September 21, 2016

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — As the deadly outbreak of Ebola has subsided, people in several West African countries are flocking to eat bushmeat again after restrictions were lifted on the consumption of wild animals like hedgehogs and cane rats. But some health experts call it a risky move.

Ivory Coast, which neighbors two of the three countries where Ebola killed more than 11,300 people since December 2013, lifted its ban on wild animal meat this month.

The meat of squirrel, deer, fruit bats and rats has long been a key source of protein for many in the region, but it is also a potential source of the Ebola virus.

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How Likely Are You To Deal With A Zika Outbreak? Check This Map

huffingtonpost.com - August 15th 2016 - Anna Almendrala

Now that Zika virus is spreading locally in Florida, U.S. residents, and especially pregnant women, are growing alarmed at the risk that they may face in their own communities. 

A new map estimating the risk of local Zika spread around the globe shows a relatively small likelihood that most of North America and Northern Asia will be affected. By contrast, all the variables are in place for local spread in most of Africa, South and Southeast Asia. 

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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The Diversity of Life Across Much of Earth Has Plunged Below ‘Safe’ Levels

An aerial view shows a tract of Amazon rain forest that has been cleared by loggers and farmers for agriculture near the city of Santarem, Para State, April 20, 2013. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Science - Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment

washingtonpost.com - by Chris Mooney - July 14, 2016

In an ambitious study that represents the latest merger between big data approaches and the quest to conserve the planet, scientists have found that across a majority of the Earth’s land surface — including some of its most important types of terrain and its most populous regions — the abundance or overall number of animals and plants of different species has fallen below a “safe” level identified by biologists.

The reason is not exactly a surprise — from grasslands to tropical forests, humans are using more and more land for agriculture, to live on, to build roads and infrastructure upon. When we take over, we clear the land or otherwise convert it for our purposes.

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