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WHY IT MATTERS: Health care
23 Oct 2012 at 12:23pm
Timeline: Zika's origin and global spread
27 Aug 2016 at 3:35pm
The following timeline charts the origin and spread of the Zika virus from its discovery nearly 70 years ago: 1947: Scientists researching yellow fever in Uganda's Zika Forest identify the virus in a rhesus monkey 1948: Virus recovered from Aedes africanus mosquito in Zika Forest 1952: First human cases detected in Uganda and Tanzania 1954: Virus found in Nigeria 1960s-80s: Zika detected in mosquitoes and monkeys across equatorial Africa 1969?83: Zika found in equatorial Asia, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan 2007: Zika spreads from Africa and Asia, first large outbreak on ...
Factbox: Why the Zika virus is causing alarm
27 Aug 2016 at 3:35pm
Global health officials are racing to better understand the Zika virus behind a major outbreak that began in Brazil last year and has spread to many countries in the Americas. Zika is transmitted to people through the bite of infected female mosquitoes, primarily the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same type that spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said Aedes mosquitoes are found in all countries in the Americas except Canada and continental Chile, and the virus will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found.
Singapore confirms first case of locally transmitted Zika virus
27 Aug 2016 at 11:28am
By Marius Zaharia SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore has confirmed its first case of a locally-transmitted Zika virus, which has been linked to microcephaly, a rare birth defect, in Brazil, the health ministry said. A 47-year-old Malaysian woman working in the city-state was confirmed with the virus, but was "well and recovering." As she had not traveled to Zika-affected areas recently, she was likely to have been infected in Singapore, the ministry said in a statement. Zika was detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas.
Togo slaughters 11,500 chickens after H5N1 bird flu outbreak
27 Aug 2016 at 10:56am
Togolese authorities said on Saturday they had slaughtered 11,500 chickens in response to an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu at two farms in the capital Lome and the town of Adetikope, about 25 km north of Lome. "We are in the presence of the H5N1 virus," Agriculture Minister Ouro-Koura Agadazi said on public radio, after the strain was confirmed by laboratory tests in Italy. Highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu has spread across a number of West African countries in the past two years, hitting poultry farms in Niger and Cameroon.
Italy grieves as state funeral is held for quake victims
27 Aug 2016 at 8:49am
Amongst the 35 coffins laid out in a sports hall were small caskets holding the bodies of an 18-month-old baby and a nine-year-old girl, two of the 21 children who are known to have died when the quake hit central Italy early on Wednesday. "We will decide all together how to get going again.
Italy's quake survivors fear family villages will become ghost towns
27 Aug 2016 at 8:49am
By Steve Scherer SANT'ANGELO, Italy (Reuters) - Tiny villages that dot the valley around the town of Amatrice, which was leveled by Wednesday's earthquake, were home to generations of families who once farmed the land, but later moved to cities for work and now return for the holidays. "The fear is that they will now be abandoned," said Giancarla Celli, 50, standing outside the 300-year-old family villa that withstood the quake, but which has been badly damaged and is now unsafe, cracks zigzagging up its walls. Most of the other homes in the hamlet of Sant'Angelo, where more than 100 people pass the hot summer months but which is sparsely populated in winter, have been reduced to rubble.
Obama presses Congress for Zika funding as worries grow
27 Aug 2016 at 7:39am
US President Barack Obama called on Congress Saturday to step up funding to combat the Zika virus, warning that delay is putting more Americans at risk. Obama's latest appeal, in his weekly radio address, came the day after the US authorities expressed deepening worry about the spread of the mosquito-borne virus, urging that all donated blood be tested for Zika. The Congress has denied past administration requests for Zika funding, instead redirecting funds that had been earmarked to fight Ebola, cancer and other diseases.
Japan pledges $30 billion for Africa over next three years
27 Aug 2016 at 6:24am
By George Obulutsa NAIROBI (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told African leaders on Saturday that his country will commit $30 billion in public and private support for infrastructure development, education and healthcare expansion in the continent. Resource-poor Japan has long been interested in tapping Africa's vast natural resources, even more so since dependence on oil and natural gas imports jumped after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster shut almost all of Japan's nuclear reactors. Abe, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to attend the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), said the package would be spread over three years from this year and include $10 billion for infrastructure projects, to be executed through cooperation with the African Development Bank.
Burkina Faso bans big buttocks beauty contest
27 Aug 2016 at 4:35am
The government of Burkina Faso has banned an annual beauty contest for women with the biggest buttocks, saying such events are sexist. Adverts for this weekend's third edition of 'Miss Bim-Bim', carrying an image of two fully clothed women with exaggeratedly large behinds, provoked an outcry on social media. "Our role is to do everything to avoid damaging the image of women," said Minister Laure Zongo in a statement, adding that social media criticism had persuaded her to act.
Japan's Abe pledges $30 billion for Africa over next three years
27 Aug 2016 at 3:39am
By George Obulutsa NAIROBI (Reuters) - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told African leaders on Saturday that his country will commit $30 billion in public and private support for infrastructure development on the continent. Resource-poor Japan has long been interested in tapping Africa's vast natural resources, even more so since dependence on oil and natural gas imports jumped after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster shut almost all of Japan's nuclear reactors. Abe, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to attend the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), said the package would be spread over three years from this year and include $10 billion for infrastructure projects on the continent, to be executed through cooperation with the African Development Bank.
Yellow fever vaccination drive in Congo's capital hits target
27 Aug 2016 at 12:51am
A vaccination campaign against yellow fever in Congo's capital is almost complete, but the gains may be reversed by the looming rainy season and the spread of the disease to areas where people have not yet been vaccinated, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. Health officials began a campaign to vaccinate 7.5 million people in Kinshasa last week to combat the worst outbreak in decades of the hemorrhagic virus. More than 400 people have died in Congo and neighboring Angola since December.
FDA recommends Zika testing for all blood donated in U.S.
26 Aug 2016 at 10:15pm
By Julie Steenhuysen and Letitia Stein CHICAGO/TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended on Friday that all blood donated in the United States and its territories be tested for Zika virus, as it moves to prevent transmission of the virus through the blood supply. The agency said its decision to expand blood screening in the United States was based on concerns about more cases of local transmission in Florida, the growing number of travel-related infections and concerns that Zika-tainted blood could unwittingly be given to a pregnant woman, putting her unborn baby at risk of severe birth defects. ?The transfusion of a pregnant woman with blood infected with the Zika virus could have terrible consequences,? Peter Marks, director of the FDA?s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said during a conference call with reporters.
Hong Kong's first Zika case tests negative
26 Aug 2016 at 9:38pm
Hong Kong's first Zika patient tested negative for the virus on Friday and was discharged from hospital, the government said in a statement. On Thursday, the Centre for Health Protection had said the 38-year-old woman, who had returned to Hong Kong after spending two weeks in in the Caribbean, had tested positive. Zika was detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas.
FDA expands Zika screening to all US blood centers
26 Aug 2016 at 7:59pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The government told all U.S. blood banks Friday to start screening for Zika, a major expansion intended to protect the nation's blood supply from the mosquito-borne virus.