Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Prep-LifeWatch

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Prep-LifeWatch

Article excerpt

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(Flu-On-Rise)

The number of cases of influenza, along with hospitalizations and deaths due to the respiratory illness, continue to escalate in Canada.

Infectious diseases experts say there's no telling how soon the seasonal scourge will reach its peak.

Figures from the Public Health Agency of Canada's FluWatch report show there were one-thousand-948 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in the final week of December -- a jump from one-thousand-229 a week earlier.

By the end of 2016, a total of almost 62-hundred lab-confirmed cases had been detected.

Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an influenza expert at the B-C Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver, says "It's definitely the tip of the iceberg,'' and none of the figures should be interpreted as absolute.

The predominant influenza strain circulating in Canada this year is A-H-3-N-2, which can cause a particularly nasty form of flu that tends to disproportionately target the elderly. (The Canadian Press)

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(Zika-Mosquitoes)

Researchers have developed genetically-engineered mosquitoes with increased resistance to Zika, but the virus that causes Dengue (DENG'-gay) fever causes more trouble.

Transmitted through mosquitoes, Dengue afflicts about 390 million people around the world annually, mostly tropical areas like Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America.

Symptoms include high fever and muscle-joint aches, and when severe, it can be life-threatening.

In the absence of drugs or widely available vaccines to treat Dengue, finding a way to halt the mosquito transmission of Dengue virus to humans could reduce the global burden of this disease.

By introducing a novel genetic modification into mosquitoes, researchers were able to turn on a pathway that reduced viral loads in the blood, and more importantly, the bugs' salivary glands.

The salivary glands are the primary mechanism for the spread of this infection to humans. …

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