Sun, Jun 25, 2017 | updated 05:59 AM IST

Zika outbreak worse than reported, projects study

Updated: Aug 03, 2016 12:11 IST      
Zika outbreak worse than reported, projects study

Washington D.C, Aug 3 (ANI): There's a large disparity between the number of reported and projected Zika cases, reveals a new study.

With the report from Florida Governor Rick Scott on Monday that 14 people in the state have been infected with the Zika virus most likely through mosquito transmission, the concern about out­breaks in the U.S. has intensified.

The news comes on the heels of new research by Northeastern University's Alessandro Vespignani that can help countries in the Americas plan a response.

The study, along with interactive maps, provides current numbers as well projections for the number of Zika cases in the Americas through January 2017. It also provides projections for the number of microcephaly cases associated with the disease through October 2017, a date chosen to allow for the nine months of preg­nancy. Microcephaly is a serious neurological birth defect characterized by a smaller than normal head.

Tackling Zika has been "a call to arms," said Vespignani. "We've been working on the modeling around the clock since January," added coauthor Matteo Chinazzi.

The team of 14 researchers used large scale computational epidemic models that integrate socio-demographic and travel data of target populations along with simulations of infection transmission among millions of individuals to reconstruct disease spread in the past and project it into the future.

Underreporting is rife in affected countries because up to 80 percent of people with the disease are asymptomatic, noted Vespignani. "Even of those with symptoms, probably only one-third will go to the doctor and get diagnosed," he added.

Indeed, the number of travel associated cases of Zika in the U.S. reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be just the tip of the iceberg, according to the research.

The team, half of which is at Northeastern, projected that as of June 15 there were close to 30,000 cases of travel-related Zika in the U.S., a number 25 times greater than that reported by the CDC on the same date.

The discrepancy results from the difference between reported cases of the mosquito-borne virus, those actually diagnosed and reported to the CDC's surveillance system, and those that fly under the radar but that the researchers' modeling algorithms can project.

The risk of contracting Zika as a result of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is extremely small, stated Vespignani. That's because the increase in air travel from Zika affected areas will be minimal, less than 1 per­cent. The number of cases in Brazil, where the virus surfaced between August 2013 and April 2014, reached its peak in the first half of 2015 and has been declining since, affecting close to 10 to 15 percent of the population.

Given all the uncertainties, the researchers cautioned that their findings are "projections," rather than "forecasts."

"We use 'forecast' when we have a level of confidence in past data, such as the origin of the disease and the progression of outbreaks, that allows us, even with some fluctuations, to project into the future," concluded Vespignani. "With Zika we are saying, 'These are the scenarios based on a number of assumptions and an attempt to get some plausible path for the future'." (ANI)

Ozone exposure ups autism odds in at-risk people

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 19:47 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 24 (ANI): Elevated exposure to ozone can put individuals with high levels of genetic variation at an even higher risk for developing autism than would be expected by adding the two risk factors together, according to a recent analysis.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 24 (ANI): People suffering from advanced kidney cancer, we have some good news for you.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 24 (ANI): In a recent study, leisure activities like going for a walk outside, reading, listening to music and other fun activities can reduce blood pressure for elderly caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer's disease.

Full Story >>

Anti-epilepsy drug to treat Alzheimer's disease?

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 10:09 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 24 (ANI): According to a recent study, the scientists have tested an anti-epileptic drug for its potential impact on the brain activity of patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.

Full Story >>

Take these measures to keep oral cancer at bay

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 16:04 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 23 (ANI): Oral Cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in India. Evidence suggests that India bears the largest burden of oral cancers in the world, with an incidence of around 11.28 percent in Indian men.

Full Story >>

Don't eat but sleep, to beat office blues!

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 10:59 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 23 (ANI): Stressful day at work leads to binge-eating at night. A new study suggests a good night's sleep can serve as a protecting factor between job stress and unhealthy eating in the evening.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 23 (ANI): According to a recent clinical trial, intensive blood pressure lowering benefits patients with chronic kidney disease.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], June 22 (ANI): J K Organization, in collaboration with Pushpawati Singhania Hospital and Research Institute Multispecialty Hospital, organized a two-day blood donation camp in New Delhi to collect 4043 units of blood.

Full Story >>

Can your blood group predict heart attack risk?

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 13:12 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): India is presently witnessing nearly two million heart attacks annually. A heart attack (clinically known as myocardial infarction) is the permanent damage or death of the heart muscles due to lack of oxygen-rich blood. According to reports, heart attack kills one person in every 33 seconds in our country.

Full Story >>

Deficits in attention linked to increased alcohol use

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 13:02 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 22 (ANI): Finding it hard to multi-task? Your frequency of alcohol use could be a reason.

Full Story >>

Healing garden at your place: Homoeopathy speaks

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 13:01 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): One always aspires to be fit and healthy without taking any medicine. If there will be no stress, infections or any other disturbances, there will be no chance of getting ill. But the real world is exactly opposite. There is no life without challenges.

Full Story >>

Looking for stone removal procedure?

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 11:48 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): Kidneys help in detoxifying and filtering impurities from the blood. They help us excrete excess toxins and excess water through urine.

Full Story >>

Lack Vitamin D? Your job could be a reason

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 09:35 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 22 (ANI): Stuck behind your office desk for most part of the day? Your nine-to-five job could be a major factor that puts you at high risk of Vitamin D deficiency.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Jun 21 (ANI): In a major breakthrough in kidney transplant, a team of doctors has conducted an ABO incompatible kidney transplant on the youngest child in SAARC region.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 21 (ANI): The proverb early to bed and early to rise makes man healthy, wealthy and wise, rightly explains a recent study, as it suggests people who sleep after 3 a.m. at night have lower perceived control of obsessive thoughts.

Full Story >>

Exhaustion of immune cells linked to irritable bowel syndrome

Updated: Jun 21, 2017 12:50 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 21 (ANI): Australian researchers have recently discovered that exhaustion of the immune system is linked to a specific type of an intestinal disorder causing pain in the stomach, wind, diarrhea and constipation.

Full Story >>

Nerves from foot used to restore vision of 60-year-old

Updated: Jun 19, 2017 19:58 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 19 (ANI): In a first of its kind surgery, a hospital in Mumbai used nerves from the foot of a partially blind 60-year-old woman to help her restore her vision.

Full Story >>

Now, it's easier to blunt sickle cell disease

Updated: Jun 19, 2017 16:28 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 19 (ANI): As population of sickle cell poses a formidable challenge, odds have dramatically lessened in its treatment.

Full Story >>

ASSOCHAM highlights shortage of yoga instructors in India

Updated: Jun 19, 2017 13:56 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 19 (ANI): Despite the growing awareness regarding the benefits gained by doing yoga, a paper authored by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation revealed that India faces a shortage of over three lakh yoga instructors.

Full Story >>

What makes patients go against medical advice?

Updated: Jun 19, 2017 12:19 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 19 (ANI): A new study has revealed the certain factors that are linked with a person's decision to leave the hospital against the advice of his or her care provider.

Full Story >>