Officials: Zika ‘Scarier Than Initially Thought’; Ebola Funds Not Enough To ‘Get The Job Done’
While National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say they still don't expect a widespread outbreak in the U.S., they also warn that it's imperative that states are ready for the worst-case scenario. Meanwhile, the virus has been linked to a second autoimmune disorder.
The Associated Press:
US Officials: The More We Know About Zika, The Scarier It Is
The more researchers learn about the Zika virus, the scarier it appears, federal health officials say, as they urge more money for mosquito control and development of vaccines and treatments. Scientists increasingly believe the Zika virus sweeping through Latin America and the Caribbean causes devastating defects in fetal brains if women become infected during pregnancy. "Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought," Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at a White House briefing. (Neergaard, 4/12)
Zika Virus 'Scarier Than Initially Thought'
"Everything we look at with this (Zika) virus seems to be a little scarier than we initially thought," Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDC principal deputy director, told reporters during a White House briefing on Monday. (Goldschmidt, 4/11)
CDC: Zika 'Scarier Than We Initially Thought'
Doug Andres, a spokesman for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), said Monday in response to the briefing that the White House is trying to “politicize” Zika. He noted that the White House last week shifted about $500 million of Ebola funds over to Zika, as Republicans requested. Any additional funding, he said, should come through the regular appropriations process, which means waiting until the fall. (Sullivan, 4/11)
Zika Linked To Second Autoimmune Disorder Similar To Multiple Sclerosis
The Zika virus has been linked to a second type of autoimmune disorder, according to a small study released today. Doctors have known that Zika is associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition in which the immune system attacks the nervous system, causing paralysis, since the Zika outbreak in French Polynesia in 2013-2014. Now, scientists have linked Zika to a condition similar to multiple sclerosis, called acute disseminated encephalomyeltis, or ADEM, a swelling of the brain and spinal cord that affects the myelin, the coating around nerve fibers, according to a paper to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Vancouver. (Szabo, 4/11)
The Washington Post:
Zika Is Tied To Second Adult Brain Disease, Deepening Fears Of Virus’s Unknown Dangers
Brazilian scientists studying 151 patients who recently sought help at a local hospital for symptoms similar to those caused by Zika have made a worrisome discovery — that the virus may be associated with a second serious brain issue in adults. ... [Doctor Maria Lucia Brito] Ferreira was cautious in interpreting her findings, emphasizing that most people who experience nervous system problems with Zika do not have brain symptoms and that a definitive causal link between Zika and the ADEM has not been made. (Cha, 4/11)
The Washington Post:
Frightening Images Show The Insidious Way Zika Appears To Attack Babies’ Brains
In one of the first studies that sheds light on exactly how Zika attacks, researcher Patricia Garcez of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro took human neural stem cells and infected them with virus taken from a Brazilian patient. Neural stem cells -- which are able to turn into three major cell types that make up our central nervous system -- are the key players in embryonic brain formation. ... Under control conditions, the neurospheres flourished, with hundreds of them growing. But when they added Zika, the virus ended up killing most of the neurospheres within a few days. A similarly disturbing thing happened with the brain organoids. The infected organoids grew to only 40 percent of those that were not exposed to the virus. (Cha, 4/11)