After two confirmed U.S. cases of a superbug that thwarts a last-resort antibiotic, infectious disease experts say they expect more cases in coming months because the bacterial gene behind it is likely far more widespread than previously believed. Army scientists in May reported finding E. coli bacteria that harbor a gene which renders the antibiotic colistin useless. The gene, called mcr-1, was found in a urine sample of a Pennsylvania woman being treated for a urinary tract infection. On Monday, researchers confirmed preliminary findings that E. coli carrying the same mcr-1 gene were found in a stored bacterial sample of a New York patient who had been treated for an infection last year, as well as in patient samples from nine other countries. The report came from a global effort called the SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program, led by Mariana Castanheira of JMI Laboratories based in North Liberty, Iowa. The mcr-1 superbug has been identified over the past six months in farm … [Read more...] about Infection experts warn of more U.S. superbug cases in coming months
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The U.S. National Institutes of Health said it will fund a study to monitor U.S. athletes, coaches and members of the Olympic Committee staff for exposure to Zika virus while in Brazil, with the hope of gaining better understanding of how it persists in the body and the potential risks it poses. The study, announced on Tuesday, seeks to determine the incidence of Zika virus infection, identify potential risk factors for infection, evaluate how long the virus remains in bodily fluids, and study reproductive outcomes of Zika-infected participants. Brazil, which has been hardest hit by the mosquito-borne virus spreading across the Americas, will host the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next month. The virus has caused concern because it can cause potentially severe birth defects in babies whose mothers were infected during pregnancy, including microcephaly - a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to developmental problems. It has also been linked to Guillain-Barre, a … [Read more...] about U.S. to fund Zika virus study of U.S. Olympic team
U.S. health officials issued updated recommendations for preventing and testing for Zika infection on Monday, warning that the virus can be transmitted through unprotected sex with an infected female partner. Previously, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other experts, believed that the virus could only be sexually transmitted by males because it can reside in semen potentially for several months. For that reason, the CDC had recommended that men who had been infected abstain from unprotected sexual contact for at least six months with a partner who is pregnant or hoping to become pregnant. But a recently reported case of female-to-male sexual transmission in New York City, and limited human and non-human primate data indicating that Zika virus RNA can be detected in vaginal secretions, led to the new warning, the agency said. CDC's expanded warnings on sexual exposure to Zika now caution against sex without a condom or other barrier method of protection with … [Read more...] about U.S. health officials update Zika transmission and testing guidance
As U.S. public health officials try to determine whether Zika has arrived in the country, doctors are establishing guidelines on how to care for the rising number of babies whose mothers were infected with the virus during pregnancy. Florida said it is investigating two possible cases of Zika not related to travel to an area where Zika is active, raising the possibility of the first incidence of local transmission of the mosquito-borne virus. On Thursday, the Florida Department of Health said it was investigating a non travel-related case of Zika in Broward County, marking the second such case. Florida has asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assist in its investigation that must also rule out sexual transmission. So far, 400 pregnant women in the continental United States have evidence of Zika infection, up from 346 from a week ago, the CDC reported on Thursday. All of those were related to travel or sex with an infected person who had traveled. Three more … [Read more...] about Doctors devise care plan for babies as Zika threat looms in U.S.
One of the top U.S. public health officials on Sunday warned that the mosquito-borne Zika virus could extend its reach across the U.S. Gulf Coast after officials last week confirmed it as active in the popular tourist destination of Miami Beach. The possibility of transmission in Gulf States such as Louisiana and Texas will likely fuel concerns that the virus, which has been shown to cause the severe birth defect known as microcephaly, could spread across the continental United States, even though officials have played down such an outcome. Concern has mounted since confirmation that Zika has expanded into a second region of the tourist hub of Miami-Dade County in Florida. Miami's Wynwood arts neighborhood last month became the site of the first locally transmitted cases of Zika in the continental United States. "It would not be surprising we would see additional cases perhaps in other Gulf Coast states," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the allergy and infectious diseases unit of the … [Read more...] about Health official warns Zika could spread across U.S. Gulf