First Zikalinked deaths reported in Colombia

first_imgRelated posts:Brazil’s Rousseff vows to win Zika ‘war’ WHO advises against blood donations from people returning from Zika areas UN prods Latin America on abortion as Zika spreads World Bank: Zika will cost Latin America $3.5 billion in 2016 Updated at 2:00 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5BOGOTÁ — Colombia said Friday three people had died of complications of the Zika virus sweeping Latin America, as the U.N. urged increased access to abortion because of fears of severe birth defects.In the first direct statements from government health officials blaming Zika for causing deaths, Colombia’s National Health Institute (INS) said the patients died after contracting the virus and developing a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.Cases of the syndrome — in which the immune system attacks the nervous system, causing weakness and sometimes paralysis — have increased in tandem with the Zika outbreak, fueling suspicions that it is a complication of the otherwise mild tropical fever, which is also blamed for causing brain damage in babies born to infected mothers.“Other cases (of deaths linked to Zika) are going to emerge,” said epidemiologist Martha Lucia Ospina, director of the INS.“The world is realizing that Zika can be deadly. The mortality rate is not very high, but it can be deadly.”Most Guillain-Barre patients recover, but the syndrome sometimes causes paralysis or even death.Citing the rise in babies born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads and brains, the U.N. human rights office urged countries hit by Zika to give women access to contraception and abortion.Women’s reproductive rights are a touchy subject in largely Catholic Latin America, but the U.N. human rights office said countries urging women to avoid pregnancy — a list that comprises Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica and Panama — had to give them ways to control their fertility.“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.Many Latin American countries outlaw abortion or allow it only if the mother’s life is in danger. In El Salvador, one of those warning against pregnancy, abortion is punishable by up to 40 years in prison.Safe sex, or no sex at allHealth officials in Brazil and the United States meanwhile warned that sex or even kissing could potentially spread the typically mosquito-borne disease.Brazil’s top research center, the Fiocruz institute in Rio de Janeiro, said Zika had been detected in urine and saliva.The scientists were careful to clarify that there is no proof the virus can be transmitted through those fluids, but said people should take precautions, especially expecting mothers.“Avoid sharing glasses, silverware, contact with someone who has symptoms of a possible infection. Don’t kiss, obviously,” said the institute’s director Paulo Gadelha.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for their part urged people to use condoms or abstain from having sex if they live in or have traveled to Zika-infected areas.Earlier this week, U.S. health officials confirmed the first case of sexually transmitted Zika — a person who had traveled to Venezuela and infected a sexual partner in Texas upon return.In the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, officials declared a health emergency over Zika and confirmed a pregnant woman had been infected, bringing the number of cases on the island to 22.The emergency measures included freezing the price of condoms and combatting mosquitoes.Calls for more researchThe World Health Organization, which has declared the rise in Zika-linked birth defects an international emergency, warns that Zika could infect up to four million people in the Americas and spread worldwide.The WHO has advised countries against accepting blood donations from people who have traveled to affected regions.The new warnings on intimate contact highlight how little is known about Zika, a virus that was first identified in Africa in 1947 but had been considered relatively mild until the current eruption of apparent complications.Both the U.S. CDC and Fiocruz in Brazil said more research was needed on person-to-person transmission.Brazil has been the country hardest hit by the outbreak, with an estimated 1.5 million cases. Colombia is next on the list, with more than 20,000 cases.Zika often goes unnoticed, and causes a relatively mild fever and rash in those who do develop symptoms.But Brazil sounded the alarm after recording a surge in babies born with microcephaly. It has registered 404 cases since October and 3,670 suspected cases, up from 147 in all of 2014. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald

first_imgArizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) celebrates a first and goal against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) GLENDALE, Ariz. — Bruce Arians didn’t think his football team mirrored its coach’s no-risk-it, no-biscuit mentality last week in a loss to the New England Patriots.“It was too much holding your breath,” Arians said, “wanting it too bad.”That wasn’t a problem in a 40-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.“I thought we cut it loose today,” Arians said. The Cardinals needed one of those games after the weight of preseason expectations came crashing down in Week 1 against the Patriots.“We felt like it was a reality check last week, losing that game,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “The biggest thing was … all of us just to personally challenge ourselves and I thought we did that today.”Nobody is going to run away and hide after two weeks of the NFL season, but the NFC West and the greater NFC have obliged the Cardinals’ Week-1 stumble by feeding the league’s desire for parity.The Cardinals left the stadium on Sunday evening knowing they would be tied with every other NFC West opponent at 1-1. Barring a tie between the Packers and Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football, only the New York Giants, the Sunday night winner and possibly the Philadelphia Eagles (if they beat Chicago on Monday night) will boast 2-0 records after just two weeks of football.With a date against the struggling Bills up next in Buffalo, the Cardinals have the chance to get on a roll — especially since they look like the Cardinals everyone expected to see when the season began.“We definitely had our swagger back this week,” safety Tony Jefferson said. “Today, we were a little loose and it was fun. We’ve got to remember to have fun.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact That was evident across the board.A defense that couldn’t solve first-time NFL starter Jimmy Garoppolo last week intercepted Bucs QB Jameis Winston four times, recovered another fumble and limited Tampa to 306 yards. Recent trade acquisition Marcus Cooper had two of those interceptions, including a pick-six late in the third quarter that all but sealed the game at 33-7.Aside from a missed extra point, the Cardinals’ special teams were excellent with Pro Bowler Justin Bethel setting the tone with a big hit on the team’s first punt — six days after his coach called him out for not playing up to his abilities.An offense that hadn’t looked right since a Dec. 27 win over the Packers rolled up 416 yards with running David Johnson accounting for 143 of those, receiver Larry Fitzgerald catching six balls for 81 more yards and career touchdown No. 101, and quarterback Carson Palmer completing 18 of 31 passes to nine different receivers for 308 yards and three touchdowns without an interception for a 124.1 passer rating.“We were just on fire on defense, we were aggressive on offense, we were nasty and extremely aggressive up front,” Palmer said. “Pockets were just perfect all day. It was just one of those games.” Comments   Share   Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Feeling better, Cardinals Nation? The march toward Super Bowl LI is back on track after a temporary and unexpected delay.Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter – / 44last_img read more