Since Zika virus (ZIKV) infections erupted in Brazil in 2015, several studies have attempted to quantify the likelihood of birth defects, including microcephaly, in Zika-affected pregnancies. A prospective cohort study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)shows that 7% of all pregnancies with laboratory confirmed Zika infections had evidence of a Zika-related birth defect.The study’s findings are similar to results from a study of birth outcomes in US territories published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last June. That study found 5% of babies born to women with confirmed Zika had birth defects.The current study is based on data collected from French territories (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and Martinique) in the Americas. Researchers followed 546 pregnancies from March through November of 2016. All mothers had confirmation of Zika infection in pregnancy and were symptomatic. The 546 pregnancies produced 527 live births and 28 that were not carried to term or were stillborn.Thirty-nine, or 7% of the fetuses and infants, had signs of neurologic and ocular defects associated with Zika infection. Of those, 10 fetuses were aborted for medical reasons, 1 was stillborn, and 28 were live-born. Microcephaly was detected in 32 of the 39 fetuses and infants.Though a risk of possible Zika-related birth defects existed regardless of when a mother contracted the virus, the risk was much higher in the first trimester of pregnancy, a finding also seen in the US study.”The risk of birth defects was 12.7% when ZIKV infection occurred in the first trimester, 3.6% when it occurred in the second trimester, and 5.3% when it occurred in the third trimester, and the risk of the congenital Zika syndrome was 6.9%, 1.2%, and 0.9%, respectively,” the authors concluded.While findings from the French and US territories are similar, a Brazilian cohort study published in 2016 showed a much higher percentage of affected births: 42%.The authors of today’s study suggest that discrepancy is caused by wider neurologic defects considered in the Brazilian study. Rates of microcephaly, the most feared and severe Zika outcome, were roughly the same among US, Brazilian, and French territory cohorts (3.4% to 5.8%). But the Brazilian study included MRI imaging results that captured a broader range of neurologic outcomes.Risk among asymptomatic pregnancies still unknownIn a NEJM commentary on the new study, Margaret Honein, PhD, MPH, of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said that although the study is a useful guide for pregnancies with confirmed, acute, maternal Zika infections, there is still a gap of knowledge about the overall risk of Zika birth defects in parts of the world where the virus is endemic.”While it seems we have been talking about Zika for awhile, we’re really just at the beginning of understanding this virus,” Honein told CIDRAP News.Honein said it was very reassuring that the French territory data so closely aligned with US surveillance data. She reiterated that the rates of microcephaly have been similar in all studies based on the recent outbreak in the Americas.About 80% of Zika infections go undiagnosed because they are asymptomatic or produce only mild flu-like symptoms.”Population-level increases in ZIKV-associated birth defects are unlikely to be recognized without ongoing timely and comprehensive surveillance of birth defects that captures all affected fetuses and infants regardless of whether maternal ZIKV exposure or infection was identified,” Honein wrote in the commentary.Ongoing surveillance will help detect Zika outcomes not present at birth, including hearing loss, learning problems, and a range of other possible defects, Honein said in the interview.See also:Mar 14 NEJM studyMar 14 NEJM commentary Jun 8, 2017, CIDRAP News story “CDC notes 5% rate of Zika birth defects in US territories”Dec 14, 2016, CIDRAP News story “Two studies highlight risk of fetal Zika damage”
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Nautronix has secured an order from HHI, Korea to supply a NASNet® DPR (Dynamic Positioning Reference) System which will be used on the Bollsta Dolphin drilling rig.NASNet® DPR is the ultimate position reference system for Dynamic Positioning; it also has the benefits of the well-known NASNet® subsea acoustic positioning system and can be used either within pre-installed field-wide NASNet® arrays, or as a localised positioning system. The system provides robust mitigation against many of the risks associated with both acoustic and satellite positioning systems, allowing multiple users to benefit simultaneously from the same array with no risk of interference. NASNet® DPR uses cutting edge acoustic technology combined with a user-friendly interface to provide high speed position updates and stable positioning in water depths up to 4000m.Bollsta Dolphin Drilling RigGraeme Murray, Managing Director of Dolphin Drilling said “We are delighted to be using a NASNet® DPR system on our new build, the Bollsta Dolphin. Dolphin Drilling is very supportive of this new technology and sees the significant advantages it can give to our customer. The system will give us fast one way, multi user acoustic positioning which will give us real opportunities to expand our subsea capabilities and redundancy for any loss of GPS due to scintillation.”Mark Patterson, CEO of Nautronix, comments: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract to supply a NASNet® DPR system, this is the first time it has been used on a drilling rig and we are really excited about where this can take us. It is a great testament to our technology, products and the investment Nautronix has made and I am delighted that such a well-known and respected company such as Dolphin Drilling and HHI have chosen NASNet® DPR.”Press Release, March 25, 2014
After Trump’s comments, CDC officials claimed Redfield thought he was answering a question about when vaccination of all Americans will be completed. Trump said Wednesday that a vaccine will be available as early as October and in mass distribution soon afterward – much sooner than was projected in congressional testimony earlier in the day by Dr. Robert Redfield. Trump says Redfield “made a mistake” when he told lawmakers that any vaccine available in November or December would be in “very limited supply,” and reserved for first responders and people most vulnerable to COVID-19. Redfield estimated the shot wouldn’t be broadly available until the spring or summer of 2021. Small bottles labeled with a “Vaccine COVID-19” sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is contradicting the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the potential availability of a coronavirus vaccine to the general public and on mask wearing. Trump also disagreed with Redfield about the effectiveness of protective masks, which Redfield had said could be even more helpful in combating the coronavirus than a vaccine.(AP)
By Greg GrabianowskiALGONA, Iowa (May 17) – Jay Noteboom repeated as the IMCA Modified winner Thursday at Kossuth County Speedway.Noteboom started on the inside of row number four before moving to the front of the field to pick up his second win of the season at Algona and his fourth overall this spring.Kelly Shryock took second followed by Ethan Dotson, Austin Wolf and Cody Knecht. Dotson moved up seven positions during the final race of the evening as the hard charger.John Wiemann started on the outside pole and led almost the whole way only to see Heath Tulp edge him by a bumper at the flag stand to take the victory in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature.The Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature saw Colby Fett pick up his first local victory of the season as he came from the outside of the second row to earn the win.Micah Lavrenz and Doug Wickman led 17 cars to flag stand to take the green flag for the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature, but once the flag dropped, Wickman dominated the field to earn the win as the race went green white checkered.A good group of 17 Mach-1 Sport Compacts took a look at the Kossuth County oval in preparation for the Bumble Bee Nationals later this season with Jay DeVries coming from inside row five.