NIH researchers say 2016 Zika virus outbreak makes US more prepared

  • Published in Health

Nearly two years after the Zika virus outbreak in the United States, the experience of the virus leaves the United States more prepared for future outbreaks NIH researchers say.

“The road map has already been written for us … hopefully the experience with Zika will allow us to respond in a much more efficient and effective way,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the institute charged with researching the virus.


NIH begins trials on blanket vaccine for mosquito-borne diseases

  • Published in News

BETHESDA -- Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have begun human trials to test a vaccine that is designed to protect against mosquito-borne diseases.

“A single vaccine capable of protecting against the scourge of mosquito-borne diseases is a novel concept that, if proven successful, would be a monumental public health advance,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).


Zika vaccine trials begin at Walter Reed

  • Published in News

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center began human trials for a Zika vaccine Nov. 7 with more trials set to come at other locations.

The National Institutes of Health, the Center for Vaccine Development at Saint Louis University and Ponce Health Sciences University in Puerto Rico are partnering with Walter Reed during the development and trials of the vaccine.

The trials at NIH are set to begin later this year with trials in Puerto Rico and St. Louis starting next year.

“We don’t know whether or not Zika is going to become endemic in certain parts of the world such as South America or South East Asia,” said Anthony Fauci, Director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). “A vaccine can be used to contain an outbreak and to administer to an entire population to protect childbearing mothers.”


County learns latest on Zika virus

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – Montgomery County’s top health official briefed the County Council Tuesday about how County officials plan to combat the Zika virus.

Dr. Ulder J. Tillman, health officer for Montgomery County, discussed the plans six days after Congress passed a bill allocating funding for vaccines, to treat people with the disease and to eliminate mosquitoes carrying the virus.

“I’m very happy that finally the funding has been approved, but I’m very disappointed that Congress sat there and played and you know just played games with this bill while you have serious issues in people’s lives affected by all of this,” said Council member Nancy Navarro (D-4).

Tillman told the council she has not had talked to state or federal health officials about allocating funds to the County.

“But in terms of how that’s going to breakdown, in terms of how much Maryland gets and what we get to do with it, it not decided as of yet,” Tillman said.


State sprays Montgomery County for mosquitoes again

  • Published in Local

aedes-egypti-zika-virus-mosquito1FILE PHOTO  

Officials from the Maryland Department of Agriculture sprayed mosquitoes for the second time in 10 days in Montgomery County, this time in the Strawberry Knoll area of Gaithersburg.

The purpose for spraying is to alleviate concern over mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus.

“This is part of the state mosquito prevention plan...they have couple of triggers that are met this to the put the spray plan into effect,” said Mary Anderson, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.


Killing the blood suckers

  • Published in Local

Health officials in the county spray for mosquitoes in three locations - including Gaithersburg


State officials sprayed areas of Kensington, Sandy Spring and Gaithersburg Monday because of concerns over Zika, West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Maryland Department of Agriculture spokesperson Julie Oberg said state officials from mosquito control decided to spray parts of the County after detecting mosquito-borne disease in either a captured mosquito or a person.

Oberg said she would not disclose what specifically promoted the spray in the County other than it was a “public health concern.”

According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene there are no cases of locally acquired Zika in Maryland.

“Every time we respond that way, it's either because of a mosquito detection or a human case of a mosquito-borne diseases,” Oberg said.


Gaithersburg company awarded contract to develop Zika virus vaccine

  • Published in Local

The federal government awarded Gaithersburg-based Emergent Biosolutions a $21.9 million contract to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a federal agency in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded the contract to Emergent, which has been previously awarded large government contracts to develop treatments for Ebola and anthrax.

“For us it is significant because it shows the government can rely on us,” said Barb Solow, vice president for bio defense research and development.


More Zika virus warnings as weather heats up

  • Published in State


aedes-egypti-zika-virus-mosquito1The Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti, seen above, and Aedes albopictus). COURTESY PHOTO

As the temperature rises, Montgomery County residents need to protect themselves from the Zika virus even though all 17 Maryland residents who have contracted the virus were infected while traveling outside the United States, according to county and state officials.

Drs. Howard Haft and Ulder Tilman and other speakers conducted a 90-minute town hall meeting at the Dennis Avenue Health Center in Silver Spring May 26 to discuss the issue.


MoCo Health Officer provides answers to Council about the Zika virus

  • Published in Local

As the weather starts to turn warmer and mosquito eggs start to hatch on the East Coast, concern over the spread of the Zika virus has become an issue for local health officials. In Montgomery County, Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Ulder Tillman gave a presentation to the Montgomery County Council Tuesday and answered questions on the Zika virus.

Tillman’s presentation to the Council focused mainly on what steps Montgomery County residents can take to prevent themselves from getting the disease.

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