Articles on Zika virus

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These photos show mothers or family members holding infants born with microcephaly, one of many serious medical problems caused by congenital Zika syndrome. AP Photo/Felipe Dana

Prenatal blood screening may predict Zika virus-associated fetal defects

There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. But researchers have identified factors in the blood that signal a fetus has Zika-related birth defects, helping mothers decide whether to terminate a pregnancy.
Warmer temperatures could lead to more zones of the country that make good breeding sites for mosquitoes. Apichart Meesri / Shutterstock.com

Is climate change causing a rise in the number of mosquito and tick-borne diseases?

Is our changing climate making regions of the US more suitable for ticks and mosquitoes that spread diseases? Or is the climate changing human physiology making us more vulnerable?
Health workers get ready to spray insecticide in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to combat the mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus in this Jan. 26, 2016 photo. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)

Viruses can cause global pandemics, but where did the first virus come from?

Recent discoveries of ancient viruses are helping scientists understand their origins.
Tackling local diseases like rabies could help health authorities identify new outbreaks more easily. N. Bastiaensen/World Organisation for Animal Health

Dealing with local diseases helps countries tackle new outbreaks

By tackling local threats and controlling existing diseases, countries are able to build the capacity needed to deal with future emerging disease threats.
Medical workers move a woman, who is suspected of having Ebola, upon her arrival at Meioxeiro Hospital, in Vigo, northwestern Spain, 28 October 2015. SALVADOR SAS (EPA)/ AAP

Speaking with: Peter Doherty about infectious disease pandemics

Professor Peter Doherty on infectious disease pandemics. The Conversation, CC BY-ND47.6 MB (download)
William Isdale speaks with the University of Melbourne's Professor Peter Doherty about infectious disease pandemics.
Women in rural Malawi, outside an AIDS hospital. AIDS was the first of the ‘new’ pandemic threats, after bird flu. Author provided.

How the Trump budget undercuts security risks posed by pandemics

An active outbreak of a type of bird flu in China raises concerns about worldwide pandemics. Ebola and Zika viruses still threaten. Here's why this is not the time to cut funding.
Revellers at a carnival in Sao Paulo wear mosquito masks in a reference to the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can spread dengue and Zika on February 4, 2016. Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

Dengue virus antibodies may worsen a Zika infection

Emerging research suggests that preexisting immunity to dengue virus, which is endemic in South America, could make a subsequent Zika infection worse.
This was the year of the health review, the NDIS, and Zika virus. Images sourced from one.aap.com.au

2016, the year that was: Health + Medicine

Health spent a lot of time in the spotlight in 2016. Medicare was a major issue in Australia’s federal election and numerous government reviews into health were announced and reported.
For viruses like dengue, being injected with the pathogen as in a vaccine can open the door to secondary infections. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Explainer: what are antibodies and why are viruses like dengue worse the second time?

Our immune system protects us but when it comes to some mosquito-borne disease, it can work against us. What are the implications for the development of a Zika virus vaccine?
Cages full of hand reared yellow fever mosquitoes await research (or possibly release) Cameron Webb, NSW Health Pathology/University of Sydney

Pitting mozzies against mozzies to stop the spread of disease

Upscaling the success of emerging mosquito control technologies relies on automating the rearing and release of millions of mosquitoes. Australia is to become the testing ground for a novel strategy.

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