NH middle school ends field trip early due to bed bug infestation | FOX25

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CHARLTON, Mass. – A sixth-grade class trip was reportedly cut short in Charlton, Mass. after bed bugs were found in the students’ rooms.

Litchfield Middle School’s sixth-graders were on a fall field trip to Nature’s Classroom when a student discovered suspicious bites on his arm, according to the New Hampshire school’s principal.

The bites have not been confirmed to have come from bed bugs, but Principal Tom Lecklider said a search dog confirmed there was  abed bug infestation in six rooms at the facility.

The field trip was scheduled to end on Friday, but kids were taken home a day early after bites were found on one of the students.

John Santos, the director for Nature’s Classroom, told the Union-Leader the facility is treating rooms.

“There were three rooms, maybe up to five, that we are treating. We are not absolutely convinced that those bugs didn’t come in from the people from the town,” Santos said. “They could have stayed we were able to isolate the first room pretty quickly.”

Nature’s classroom is a Massachusetts-based non-profit that emphasizes learning in the outdoors by providing field trips to schools and organizations throughout New England.

Men with Vasectomies Can Still Spread Zika Via Sex Report Suggests SayNOToPesticides LiveFree LoveLonger Miami

 

A man in Spain may have passed the Zika virus to his wife through sex, even though he’d previously had a vasectomy, according to a new report of the case.

The 53-year-old man and his 51-year-old wife had gone on vacation to the Maldives islands in the Indian Ocean in early February this year, the report said. They spent 10 days on the islands, and returned to Madrid in mid-February. They both got mosquito bites on the trip.

A few days after their return, the man developed symptoms of Zika infection, including a fever, rash, headache and joint pain, which went away after about a week. When the man had nearly completely recovered from the infection, the couple had unprotected sexual intercourse.

In men who’ve undergone a vasectomy, sperm from the testes cannot make their way into semen. These men still ejaculate semen during sex, but the semen contains no sperm. (Sperm are men’s reproductive cells, whereas semen is usually a mixture of sperm and other fluids.)

A week later, (which was two weeks after the man first showed symptoms), the woman also developed symptoms of Zika.

Doctors tested blood and urine samples from the husband and wife, as well as the husband’s semen. The woman’s urine sample tested positive for Zika virus, as did the man’s semen sample.

It’s likely that the man became infected from a mosquito bite he got when the couple was in the Maldives. Zika is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes, and mosquitoes infected with Zika are known to be present in the Maldives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the woman didn’t develop symptoms until 18 days after she returned from the trip. For a Zika virus infection, this incubation period (or the time it takes a person to show symptoms after he or she is infected) would be “exceptionally long,” the researchers said. It’s thought that the incubation period for Zika is between three and 12 days, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

It’s unlikely that the woman was infected by a mosquito bite she got in the Maldives, and this means that sexual transmission “is definitely a possibility” in the woman’s case, the report said. It’s the first time that possible sexual transmission of Zika virus from a man with a vasectomy has been reported, the report said.

Doctors were able to detect infectious Zika virus in the man’s semen up to 69 days after he first showed symptoms. This is the longest time period that infectious Zika virus has been detected in semen, the report said.

This case suggests that, rather than hiding exclusively in sperm, the Zika virus may be present in other fluids that make up semen, such as fluid from male reproductive glands, or pre-ejaculate secretions, the report said.

“Public health recommendations to prevent sexual transmission of Zika virus should take these data into consideration,” and should recommend use of protection during sex after travel to an area with Zika, even if a man has had a vasectomy, the report said.

The World Health Organization currently recommends that men and women returning from areas with Zika transmission should use protection for at least six months after their return.

Original article on Live Science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Men with #Vasectomies Can Still Spread #Zika Via #Sex  Report Suggests SayNOToPesticides LiveFree LoveLonger #Miami

 

Bed bugs have been linked to leprosy Southern California child tests positive for leprosy | Fox News

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A Southern California elementary school student has been found to have leprosy, public health officials said Thursday, though they emphasize that the student’s school and community remain safe.

Two children from Indian Hills Elementary School in Jurupa Valley had initially been diagnosed by a local doctor with the condition known medically as Hansen’s disease, Riverside County health officials said. But this week they received results from the National Hansen’s Disease Laboratory Research Program in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and they showed that only one of the children had tested positive.

Public health officials emphasize that it is incredibly difficult to contract leprosy and that there is no danger to the child’s classmates. The classrooms had been sanitized since the initial diagnoses.

“It is incredibly difficult to contract leprosy,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County’s public health officer. “The school was safe before this case arose and it still is.”

The U.S. sees only about 150 leprosy cases occur each year, and over 95 percent of the population is naturally immune to it.

Despite its reputation as an incredibly infectious plague that makes sufferers shed body parts, the disease can only be passed through prolonged contact, and is fairly easily treated with antibiotics.

It is not spread through short-term contact like handshakes or even sexual intercourse.

Those most at risk are family members who are in constant contact with an untreated person, and by travelers to places such as India, Brazil and Angola where it’s more common.

Health and school officials will say nothing about how the child contracted the disease, or about the identity of either child who was tested.

“The only way to protect the two students is for nobody to know who they are,” district Superintendent Elliott Duchon told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

The school district sent an email to parents informing them of the diagnosis, and Duchon was at the school on Thursday afternoon to answer questions from concerned parents.

Leprosy remains a problem in tropical hot spots of the world with some 250,000 new infections reported each year. Similar to tuberculosis, it can stay dormant for years before attacking the skin and nerves.

The disease has long been misunderstood, with false stories of fingers and toes falling off adding to the stigma. Fear led some countries to quarantine people.

Antibiotics typically kill the bacteria within days and make it non-contagious. It usually takes a year or two to fully clear the germ from the body.

If left untreated, it can cause severe nerve damage, deformity and disability.

 

 

 

 

Bed bugs have been linked to #leprosy #Southern #California #child tests positive for leprosy | Fox News

Rightfully So! | Miami Beach tourism takes a hit from Zika: demand drops, cancellations rise | SayNoToPesticides

 

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Miami Beach’s tourism industry has been able to swerve each time Zika has tried to deal it a major blow — until now.

Last week, Zika hit the $24 billion industry with an uppercut.

Hotel demand went negative for the first time since local transmission of the mosquito-borne illness was detected in Miami — at the now-cleared Wynwood area — on July 29. The number of room nights sold, which has been trending downward since the start of the month, fell to 2.3 percent lower than the same time in 2015, according to the most recent data from analytics specialist STR.

Then on Friday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced the Zika transmission zone on Miami Beach had tripled in size to encompass two-thirds of the tourism jewel. The zone now stretches from Eighth Street to 63rd Street, wrapping in with it hotels in Middle Beach, such as the historic Fontainebleau Miami Beach, the Eden Roc and the Faena district.

Asked if he is concerned about Zika’s impacts on Miami Beach’s tourism industry while meeting with local stores Thursday, Scott said, “Absolutely.”

Forty-one cases of locally transmitted Zika have been found on the Beach. Miami-Dade County remains under a travel advisory issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Panic has started to settle in.

“The fears of the destination community are being realized,” said Scott Berman, a Miami-based tourism expert at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
miami-beach-hotels-stung-by-zikaAt a standing room-only meeting between 40 hotels and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau on Sept. 14, the tension at area hotels began to boil over.

The 1,504-room Fontainebleau reported suffering the worst three weeks in 15 years, according to a memo provided to the Miami Herald by the city of Miami Beach. Sixteen groups had canceled trips and two pending group bookings could potentially cancel their business for early 2017, according to the memo.

The hotel and the tourism bureau declined requests to confirm the cancellations. Bureau president William D. Talbert III said he did not remember whether the Fontainebleau had mentioned having cancellations at the meeting.

According to the memo, the 150-room Carillon, which is on 68th Street and outside the Zika zone, said it had lost $100,000 in short-term cancellations. And at the 326-room Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key, the slowdown has seeped into the pivotal early December period during Art Basel Miami Beach. The hotel said bookings were not coming in at the usual pace, according to the memo. (In a phone interview, the hotel said that there hadn’t been a major drop-off in bookings.)

Basel-period bookings aren’t on track at the Loews Miami Beach, either, managing director Alex Tonarelli said during a site tour Monday.

At a Sept. 14 City Commission meeting, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said the Loews had had more than 700 room cancellations.

“It’s been more than 700,” Tonarelli said Monday, but the hotel declined to give specific details.

THE FEARS OF THE DESTINATION COMMUNITY ARE BEING REALIZED.Scott Berman, a Miami-based tourism expert at PricewaterhouseCoopers

Other measures for Miami Beach are also showing the strain. Room revenue is down 6.1 percent year-over-year, revenue per available room is 11.1 percent under 2015 levels, the average daily rate dropped by 3.9 percent and hotel room occupancy is on its third week of decline at 7.5 percent below the same week in 2015, according to STR.

“I’ve heard that there are rates as low as $59 a night, which is like what I would call similar to [rates] after 9/11 for several hotels,” Mitch Novick, owner of the 20-room Sherbrooke Hotel on Collins Avenue, said in an interview.

Meanwhile, hotel supply is up by 5.7 percent year-over-year during the week of Sept. 17, a measure the tourism bureau said is the major driver behind lower numbers. Also driving down the numbers: a weak Latin American economy, a strong U.S. dollar, the growth of the short-term rental industry and a half-open Miami Beach Convention Center. September is also the slowest month for the tourism industry, making it more difficult for businesses and hotels to pinpoint what percentage of the drop-off in business is due to Zika.

Now, though, Zika’s impact is becoming clearer.

“There is no one trying to hide that this is getting increasingly more alarming,” Berman said. “What’s difficult to quantify is the lack of pipeline, meaning business that is not even calling.”

Talbert said some groups that were considering meetings in Miami in 2017 have instead said they’ll reconsider Miami for 2018. About 18 groups of 20 to 200 people have reported cancellations to the tourism bureau. That doesn’t include group cancellations at hotels that haven’t reported them to the bureau.

“As this issue continues, it’s what group business we are not booking,” Talbert said.

-2.3 percentDecrease in hotel demand on Miami Beach during the week of Sept. 17 compared to the same time last year.

Because meetings are scheduled months in advance, the impacts of the Zika scare could affect bookings for 2017 and 2018, Berman said.

“My fear is that Q1, when most of the hotels and resorts accumulate cash in order to offset other parts of the year, will be weaker,” he said. “My conversations with the hotel community suggest that the pick up is not where it needs to be for Art Basel.”

A spokesperson for the art fair said none of its exhibitors or partners have canceled their participation due to Zika and the fair has been in continual contact with the city of Miami Beach.

Still, LodgIQ, a hotel revenue management platform, said if current trends continue, December is likely to be the worst month for Miami Beach in the fourth quarter of the year.

Until then, the Beach is hoping some Wynwood good luck will rub off on it. Fifty-two days after Zika was detected in Wynwood, its designation as a Zika zone was lifted.

Despite strong objections from Miami Beach residents on the safety of aerial spraying, which resulted in one of the rowdiest City Commission meetings in recent history, Miami Beach has gone ahead with spraying and on-the-ground efforts similar to those used in Wynwood.

“It worked in Wywnood,” Talbert said. “It is going to work on Miami Beach.”

Weathering the storm

Despite the drop-off, some business on the Beach is holding strong.

Talbert said several groups have booked conventions in recent weeks: a 5,000-person convention of the International Bar Association booked for October 2020 and a meeting of the International City/County Management Association is set for January. The Race of Champions, an international motorsport event, is being held in the U.S. for the first time at Marlins Park in late January and the PGA Tour Latin America will stop at the Melreese Country Club near Miami International Airport in late November.

The Miami Beach Convention Center hasn’t had any cancellations, according to a Miami Beach spokeswoman. Many hotels are also enforcing their contracts with group business that is already booked, Talbert said.

THE GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU SAID THE MAJOR FACTOR DRIVING DOWN NUMBERS ON MIAMI BEACH IS AN INCREASE IN HOTEL SUPPLY, NOT ZIKA.

At The Betsy hotel on Ocean Drive, managing director Jeff Lehman said the hotel was sold out Thursday night and revenue and occupancy were above 2015 rates. And the 112-room Avalon hotel on Ocean Drive said its loyal clientele hasn’t tapered off because of Zika.

“I don’t see everyone walking around saying, ‘Oh my gosh, what are we going to do?’” said Jolie Warshaw, the hotel’s director of sales.

In August, the city of Miami Beach collected nearly 7 percent more in resort taxes over the same time last year, indicating that Zika hasn’t yet infected the city’s tax revenues. But Zika only started affecting Miami Beach in late August.

At the commission meeting last week, Mayor Levine said he expects Zika to hit resort taxes.

I DON’T SEE EVERYONE WALKING AROUND SAYING, ‘OH MY GOSH, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?’Jolie Warshaw, the Avalon hotel’s director of sales

And while some hotels have remained unaffected, the story changes dramatically depending whom you ask.

A sales manager at a Sunny Isles Beach hotel, who asked to remain anonymous because her boss wouldn’t want her to say business is down, said she has seen a “major decline” in bookings due to Zika.

“The longer the CDC has travel warnings and the further they spread, the worse it is going to be,” she said. “If it spreads up to North Miami Beach, Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles, we will lose tens of thousands [of dollars] in groups sales booked for the November-January time frame.”

She has had to start adding an addendum clause in contracts for group business that says the hotel will consider a CDC travel warning for Sunny Isles as force majeure and refund deposits in full. The possibility of Zika spreading to Sunny Isles has already resulted in lost business, she said.

More than a dozen hotels in Miami Beach rejected the Miami Herald’s requests for comment on this story. When asked to get more details about whether area hotels are losing business because of Zika, Wendy Kallergis, president of the Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association, said she was not able to provide the Herald with any information on the topic.

Said Kallergis in an email: “[The hotels] are busy taking care of our guests and booking business.”

#Miami #Beach  #Zika

Tests Confirm Mosquitoes in Miami Beach Are Carrying Zika Virus

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WASHINGTON — Florida announced on Thursday that, for the first time, mosquitoes in Miami Beach had tested positive for the Zika virus, a disappointing confirmation that the virus is still active in the area.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads Zika is famously difficult to fight, and experts often say that testing the bugs to find the virus is like looking for a needle in a haystack. The three samples that tested positive all came from a 1.5-square-mile area in Miami Beach where locally acquired cases of Zika had been confirmed.

The significance of the results depends on where the mosquitoes were collected, said Scott C. Weaver, the director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at the University of Texas Medical Branch. If they are from in or around the houses of people with active infections, the chances of the bugs’ being infected are higher. If the virus was found in mosquitoes in a more distant location, that could point to a bigger infection area than thought.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said state law prevented the disclosure of the traps’ location. The department said in a statement that since May, it had tested more than 2,470 mosquito samples, consisting of more than 40,000 mosquitoes. The three samples that the department announced on Thursday were the first to test positive.

Zika causes mild symptoms — rashes and joint pain — for most people, but it can cause severe brain damage in the fetuses of pregnant women who are infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking more than 1,500 pregnant women who have been infected with Zika. So far, at least 16 babies have been born with birth defects.

Florida is the only place in the continental United States where Zika is actively circulating, but the virus is spreading.

The first cluster of cases was in a Miami neighborhood called Wynwood. The outbreak in that area seems to have subsided, but health officials discovered a new cluster in Miami Beach on Aug. 18, and the C.D.C. warned pregnant women not to travel there.

Zika is not expected to spread explosively in the United States as it has in Latin America and the Caribbean, because Americans live in less crowded conditions and usually have window screens and air conditioning, which block infected mosquitoes from spreading the virus. In all, Florida has more than 45 homegrown cases, nearly all in Miami-Dade County. The first were announced in July.

“The good news is the weekly number of new cases isn’t changing much,” Dr. Weaver said. “If we were seeing at first five cases a week, then 10, then 20 and then 100, we’d be very concerned.”

Even so, the mosquito has proved a stubborn foe, particularly in Miami Beach. Aerial spraying, which has been effective in Wynwood, has not happened in Miami Beach, in part because its high buildings make spraying complicated, but also because some residents oppose it.

But experts say aerial spraying there is possible, and on Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott said the C.D.C. had recommended that Miami Beach be sprayed using helicopters. He said the state had made funds available “to immediately conduct aerial spraying in Miami Beach.”

But it was not clear when that might happen. When asked about aerial spraying in a telephone interview, Michael Grieco, a Miami Beach city commissioner, said: “No determination has been made. It’s not really practical with all the geography.”

PREGNANT WOMEN AND THEIR PARTNERS SHOULD AVOID MIAMI BECAUSE OF ZIKA, HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY

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If you or your lover is pregnant, or making an attempt to get pregnant, you need to stay away from Miami-Dade County, in accordance to the Facilities for Sickness Control and Avoidance. In a new announcement, the CDC instructed pregnant females–as perfectly as their sexual companions–avoid these areas. Miami-Dade County is the to start with area of the United States where by mosquitoes are carrying the virus, and this is the to start with time they’ve advised any person avoid any area of the country simply because of the virus.

Disturbingly, it may perhaps be that pregnant females need to be staying away from most or all of Southern Florida and not just Miami. An article revealed today by the New York Occasions claimed that CDC officials “plainly want to sound the alarm about attainable Zika spread in a much larger sized area of South Florida.” But, a CDC representative informed the Occasions, the company will have to abide by point out officials’ preferences when drawing the boundaries of areas it considers unsafe for vacation. And Florida–facing a vacation ban to its most preferred tourist area–would seem to want to attract that boundary as smaller as attainable.

So significantly, “clusters” of mosquito-borne Zika have been identified in two Miami areas, the Wynwood community of Miami, and–disastrously for Florida tourism–Miami Beach front. “We have two smaller areas,” governor Rick Scott said in an announcement about the new Miami Beach front conditions. “That’s out of a point out that requires fifteen hours to push from Crucial West to Pensacola, so let’s set things in viewpoint.”

Without a doubt, the governor’s office environment is doing work to lower the limited vacation area. A news launch from the governor’s office environment claims: “After intense tests in the Wynwood area, today DOH [Department of Health and fitness] is capable to apparent 3 more blocks of the Northeastern area of Wynwood simply because there is no continued evidence of energetic transmission. This is in addition to the 14 blocks DOH has now been capable to apparent in Wynwood.” In truth, the launch claims, “DOH thinks that energetic transmission of this virus are only occurring in the area of Miami Beach front involving 8th and 28th Streets.” The point out is also aggressively pursuing mosquito eradication and inquiring FEMA for a detailed prepare on how it will guide with the effort and hard work.

The good thing is, the mosquito that carries Zika commonly only travels a couple of hundred toes in its life time. Regretably, contaminated individuals can vacation all over the place and be bitten by (and so infect) neighborhood mosquitos. The virus brings about no signs at all in numerous men and women and even in those people who do have signs, they can just take two weeks to exhibit up. So it is impossible to know for sure how significantly the virus has or will spread. (I’ve arrived at out to the governor’s office environment for remark and will update this column if I get a response.)

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.

You can get the Zika virus two means, either by remaining bitten by a mosquito carrying it, or by sexual contact with another person who has it. (Blood transfusions may perhaps be a third source of infection.) In numerous conditions, you is not going to even know you have the virus simply because there will be no signs. If you do have signs, the most common are fever, rash, joint agony, and pink eyes. The virus can also induce complications and muscle agony.

While Zika is not very damaging to older people, it can induce devastating beginning flaws if a pregnant female catches the virus while pregnant, particularly microcephaly, in which infants are born with a more compact than regular head simply because their brains stopped increasing all through being pregnant.

The excellent news is that after you have the Zika virus, you can not be contaminated again, and there is no evidence that it will have an effect on a potential being pregnant. So if you and your lover are not pregnant and are not making an attempt, Zika presents a comparatively very low chance for you.

Here is what to do:

1. IF YOU OR YOUR LOVER IS PREGNANT, STAY AWAY FROM MIAMI.

Think about being away from South Florida in general if you can. If the Occasions is suitable that the CDC would like to set more of the point out off limits but has its arms tied, it is impossible to know where by those people favored boundaries would be.

TWO. IF YOU ARE PREGNANT AND YOUR LOVER HAS TRAVELED TO A ZIKA-AFFECTED AREA, HAVE SECURED INTERCOURSE.

Pointless to say, whilst Florida is the to start with area of the United States to have Zika-carrying mosquitoes, numerous other areas, notably in Latin The united states, are seeing prevalent infections.

THREE. GET ANALYZED FOR ZIKA.

If you are pregnant, the CDC endorses obtaining analyzed for Zika inside two weeks of touring to a Zika-affected area, irrespective of whether you are obtaining any Zika signs or not. If you stay in a Zika-affected area, the CDC endorses obtaining analyzed at your to start with pre-natal check out and again in the next trimester, or any time Zika signs exhibit up.

FOUR. AVOID MOSQUITO BITES.

That’s certainly difficult to do, specifically in summertime. Numerous pregnant females in South Florida are sporting extensive sleeves, being indoors as much as attainable, and using heaps of insect repellent.

FIVE. STAY TUNED.

The excellent news is that a Zika vaccine will probable be accessible before long, probably just before the end of the yr. A organization named Inovio is commencing human trials for its vaccine, with at least one particular other organization not significantly at the rear of. (Here is more about Inovio’s Zika vaccine trials.)

Florida expands Zika zone in Miami Beach after 5 new cases

State officials in Florida on Friday tripled the active Zika transmission zone in the trendy seaside community of Miami Beach after five new cases of the mosquito-borne virus believed to cause a severe birth defect were identified in the area.

The active transmission zone grew from 1.5 square miles to 4.5 square miles and consists of a large portion of the popular tourist destination, Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement on Friday evening.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine told the Miami Herald that the city will begin truck-spraying of larvicide in the zone on Saturday.

“We have a serious problem,” he told the newspaper. “Once again, we must take all reasonable and safe action to eliminate this. This is a problem.”

The zone was expanded after the Florida Department of Health identified five cases in the area involving three women and two men who all experienced symptoms within one month of each other.

The cases bring the total of non-travel related Zika cases in Florida to 93 and in Miami Beach to 35, the governor said.

Three weeks ago, federal health officials warned pregnant women not to travel to Miami Beach because Zika has been shown to cause the severe birth defect known as microcephaly, a condition marked by abnormally small head size that can result in developmental problems.

The Zika virus was first detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas. It has been linked to more than 1,800 cases of microcephaly in Brazil.

Adding to concerns are current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that recommend men wait six months after being infected with Zika before trying to have children to avoid passing the virus to a pregnant partner through semen.

The governor also said on Friday he expects the Zika zone to be lifted on Monday in Wynwood where aggressive mosquito control and community outreach measures have been effective after several cases of Zika were confirmed recently in the neighborhood, north of Miami.

Scott also announced that he will authorize an additional $10 million in state funds to fight Zika and reiterated his call for Congress to provide more federal resources and funding.

“Every minute that passes that Congress doesn’t approve funding means more time is lost from researching this virus to find a vaccine to help pregnant women and their developing babies,” he said.

Should pregnant tourists avoid Disney World now that Fla. mosquitoes carry Zika?

MIAMI — Tourists may have reason to think twice about visiting Florida now that mosquitoes there have apparently begun spreading the Zika virus. It’s the first time on the U.S. mainland for an epidemic that’s sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean, health officials said Friday.

Four recently infected people in the Miami area — one woman and three men — are believed to have contracted the virus locally through mosquito bites, Gov. Rick Scott said.

Florida agricultural officials immediately announced more aggressive mosquito-control efforts, and Florida politicians rushed to assure tourists it’s still safe to visit the state.

Some medical experts said pregnant women should not travel to the Miami area, especially if the visit involves spending time outdoors. The CDC is not issuing such advice, however.

In May, at least one expert urged some families to avoid traveling to Florida and other parts of the South this summer because of the potential threat from Zika.

However, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, whose jurisdiction includes Walt Disney World and other Orlando-area theme parks, said tourists shouldn’t think twice about coming to the Sunshine State. Florida had more than 106 million visitors last year, and tourism is the state’s biggest industry.

Florida’s theme parks “have mosquito control down like no place else I don’t think on the planet,” Jacobs said.

Zika-fighting efforts include pesticide spraying, setting of traps and eliminating standing water around homes.

No mosquitoes in Florida have actually been found to be carrying Zika, despite the testing of 19,000 by the state lab. But other methods of Zika transmission, such as travel to a stricken country or sex with an infected person, have been ruled out.

“Zika is now here,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Still, U.S. health officials said they do not expect widespread outbreaks in this country like those seen in Brazil, in part because of better sanitation, better mosquito control and wider use of window screens and air conditioners.

The virus has triggered alarm across the Western Hemisphere’s warmer latitudes. While most people who get Zika don’t even know they are sick, infection during pregnancy can cause severe brain-related birth defects, including disastrously small heads.

More than 1,650 people in the mainland U.S. have been infected with Zika in recent months, nearly all while traveling abroad. The four people in Florida are believed to be first to contract the virus from mosquitoes within the 50 states.

“This is not just a Florida issue. It’s a national issue — we just happen to be at the forefront,” Scott said.

Health officials said the U.S. might see small clusters of infections. But “we don’t expect widespread transmission in the continental United States,” the CDC’s Frieden said.

The four Florida infections are thought to have occurred in a small area just north of downtown Miami, in the Wynwood arts district, the governor said.

The area, known for bold murals spray-painted across warehouses, art galleries, restaurants and boutiques, is rapidly gentrifying and has a number of construction sites where standing water can collect and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

People in Florida’s Miami-Dade and Broward counties are being tested to learn whether there are more cases, the governor said.

“If I were a pregnant woman right now, I would go on the assumption that there’s mosquito transmission all over the Miami area,” warned Dr. Peter Hotez, a tropical medicine expert at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.

He said that there are probably more cases that have not been diagnosed, and that people should not be surprised if mosquitoes are soon found to be spreading Zika in Louisiana and Texas as well.

Earlier this week, federal authorities told blood centers in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale areas to stop collecting blood until they screen it for the virus.

Zika’s symptoms can include low-grade fever, rash, joint pain, headaches and inflamed eyes and typically last seven to 10 days. None of the four people infected in Florida are showing symptoms anymore, officials said.

Frieden said the evidence suggests that the mosquito-borne transmission occurred several weeks ago over several city blocks.

It’s not unusual that no mosquitoes have tested positive for Zika, said C. Roxanne Connelly, a medical entomology specialist at the University of Florida and a past president of the American Mosquito Control Association.

It can take a couple of weeks before an infected person shows symptoms, and by then the mosquitoes that transmitted the virus are dead, she said.

“Believe it or not, it’s difficult to find positive mosquitoes even when you’re in the middle of an epidemic,” Connelly said. “Sometimes you don’t know where these people were infected. At home? At work? Where they were playing baseball?”

Zika primarily spreads through bites from a specific species of mosquito that is found in urban parts of the South and peaks in number in August and September. There have been more than 4,700 cases of mosquito-borne Zika in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

The cycle of infection inside a country can start when a blood-sucking mosquito bites a traveler who has returned from abroad with the virus in his or her bloodstream. The mosquito then bites someone else, spreading the virus.

Health officials have been long predicting this would happen in the continental U.S. sometime this summer, probably in Florida and Texas, because of the types of mosquitoes that thrive there and the large numbers of people who travel back and forth to Latin America.

Florida’s governor has allocated over $25 million for dealing with Zika, and the White House and the CDC have provided over $10 million. However, Congress left on a seven-week vacation without giving the Obama administration any of the $1.9 billion it sought to battle the virus.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz called that “regrettable” and said: “Today’s news should be a wake-up call to Congress to get back to work.”

Jenny Gray, who is 27 and works in Wynwood for an art designer, said she will follow the experts’ advice to wear insect repellent.

“I don’t plan on having kids now, but I do sometime in the future. Better to stay protected,” she said. “That really does concern me.”

But Phillip Lopez, a 34-year-old Wynwood resident who works at an outdoor bar and exercises outside, said: “It’s a concern, but you got to do what you got to do. You can’t not go outside.”

The National Desk contributed to this report.

National action urged over Swiss bedbug infestation | WRS | Articles

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A Geneva politician is calling for federal action over bedbugs.

Guillaume Barrazzone says there needs to be national action as the country is in the grip of an infestation.

He says the critters ignore cantonal and communal boundaries. In Geneva there were nearly 5,000 reports of infestations in 2014, in Zurich there were 100 reports last year– when the average was just 20 a year up to 2005. In Vaud 250 army recruits had to leave a barracks because of the bugs.

Is Monsanto’s RoundUp (Glyphosate) the New Agent Orange? | Natural Society

Monsanto has been in the poison game for a long time. All the propaganda in the world can’t erase the fact that they first poisoned thousand of Vietnamese, Thai, and Koreans as well as countless American soldiers with Agent Orange, who only now receive compensation for the effects of Monsanto’s bio-warfare decades later. The proof is finally so pervasive that the company can no longer just sweep away evidence of their evil-doing.

While it was our own government who did the spraying, they colluded with Monsanto, one of the nine government contractors who made the toxic combination of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, which came to be called Agent Orange. Many people don’t know this, but after decades of research proving that Agent Orange is lethal and tens of millions of dollars paid to victims in settlements – it is still being used in many Asian countries.

The company has switched to using it’s best-selling herbicide RoundUp predominately now, yet another innocent product constructed of poisons even the most stalwart farmer would wince at should they really understand its fallout. RoundUp is made of glyphosate, the primary active ingredient and Agent Orange of our time. Even the RoundUp label warns not to get the stuff in your eyes or on your skin, and to wear gloves when handling it – so what makes it o.k. to eat?

RoundUp “ kills weeds because glyphosate (a salt compound) inhibits enzyme pathways, preventing plants from synthesizing amino acids necessary for growth. It basically stops plants from eating, so they die.” It is probable that Monsanto and other companies who use this substance under other names besides RoundUp are now dumping more than 300 million pounds of this toxic poison into our soil annually. It’s use has at least tripled since 1990.

Read: Stopping Resurgence of Agent Orange in Food Supply

This calls into question some of the arguments posted by anti-labeling and pro-GMO propagandists who say that “the science isn’t conclusive that GMO herbicides are dangerous.” Meanwhile, hundreds of scientists, many being former pro-GMO, are speaking up about the ineffectiveness and potential dangers surrounding GMOs. The idea is similar to how the tobacco industry lied to citizens for decades about the ill-effects of cigarettes and how they cause lung cancer, among other problems.

This is why countless people continue to rail against Monsanto. It’s why Monsanto and their nefarious crew of poison mongers (the Grocery Manufacturer’s of America) spend millions of dollars illegally to try to defeat GMO labeling bills.

The truth is that RoundUp, in the form of glyphosate, is just another product of the military industrial complex, and an evolution of Agent Orange. If we don’t wake up and fight, en masse, then Monsanto and its government connections will completely destroy our food supply and our planet.