Zika Virus in Miami, Florida, USA
Federal health officials on Friday warned pregnant women not to travel to trendy Miami Beach after Florida confirmed that the mosquito-borne Zika virus was active in the popular tourist destination.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention also suggested that pregnant women who are especially worried about exposure to Zika, which has been shown to cause the severe birth defect known as microcephaly – might consider avoiding all of Miami-Dade County.
The new warnings represent a challenge to Florida’s multibillion dollar tourism industry, with Miami Beach accounting for nearly half of visitor stays in the Greater Miami area. They also heighten concerns over Zika’s spread in the continental United States.
Deadly Yellow Fever Spreading, Amid Global Vaccine Shortages
As deadly yellow fever spreads to seven provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), new measures have been introduced to ensure that as many people as possible are immunised, despite global shortages of the yellow fever vaccine.
Global emergency stocks of just 6 million yellow fever vaccines have been strained by the current outbreak, which began in Angola and has now spread to neighbouring DRC. To reach as many people as possible with the limited supply of vaccines, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has started recommending the use of partial doses.
So far in DRC there are 74 actual confirmed cases and there’ve been 16 deaths from those cases. This means that more than 20% of people who have contracted yellow fever in the DRC have died. The number of suspected cases in the DRC and Angola is much higher. A big city like Kinshasa is worrisome, no-one really knows how many people there are in Kinshasa, no census has been done since the 1980s but the estimate is around 10 million. The current campaign aims to reach 420,000 people in Kinshasa over 10 days.
Tuberculosis in Sweden
The number of reported cases of the dreaded lung disease tuberculosis is increasing rapidly in Sweden. Whereas the unparalleled influx of refugees is the main reason to blame for the outbreak, additionally many former Swedish patients have fallen ill again.
During the first half of the year, 421 new cases of tuberculosis were reported in Sweden, with a marked increase in the 15-19 age bracket with 90% being foreign born.