#3: Zika Virus News Update: Three New Things You Should Know
Every day, researchers from around the globe are making advancements when it comes to better understanding Zika, a virus that poses a great threat to pregnant mothers and their unborn children. In this update, we’ve compiled some of the latest news associated with the mosquito-borne virus that has been revealed this past week.
#1: Zika Transmission Depends on Time Spent Outdoors
A recent study conducted by researchers from Northeastern University in Boston and the University of Miami explored the link between Zika transmission and how much time individuals spend outdoors. The researchers surveyed 270 individuals who reside in Miami-Dade, Florida, an area that has been heavily hit with Zika virus in the past. Using a computational model to evaluate “how Zika transmission dynamics related to time spent outdoors,” the researchers found that time residents spent outside were “highly variable,” according to the recent PLOS
press release. The majority of the individuals surveyed reported spending <2 hours a day outside. However, that was not the case for everyone; there was a small percentage of individuals who reported spending as long as 10 hours outside per day.
The computational model revealed that “this heterogeneity—compared to a hypothetical population in which everyone spends the same average amount of time outside—leads Zika virus to infect fewer people but spread at a faster pace from person-to-person,” according to the press release.
The findings led researchers to postulate that, “Operational control efforts could be prioritized and directed towards areas characterized by high levels of human outdoor activities, such as recreational areas and tourist attractions, rather than, for instance, on residential areas.”
Learn more about the other 2 Zika updates you should know, here
#2: ACIP Releases Immunization Recommendations for 2017-2018 Flu Season
The updated recommendations include the following:
- The trivalent influenza vaccines will contain A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus, an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus. Quadrivalent influenza vaccines will contain these 3 viruses and an additional influenza B vaccine virus, a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus.
- Afluria Quadrivalent and Flublok Quadrivalent have been licensed and FluLaval Quadrivalent vaccines now have an expanded age indication.
- Pregnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate influenza vaccine.
- Afluria may be used for individuals 5 years of age and older, consistent with FDA-approved labeling.
- FluMist Quadrivalent should not be used during the 2017-2018 due to concerns about its effectiveness against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses in the United States during the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 influenza seasons.
Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all individuals 6 months of age and older who do not have contraindications. The committee recommended that individuals should be vaccinated before the onset of flu activity in the community and that vaccinations should be offered before the end of October and continue to be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating and unexpired vaccine is available.
Read more about the updated ACIP Immunization Recommendations, here