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BRASILIA Brazilian health officials said on Thursday they have confirmed two cases of transmission of Zika through transfusions of blood from donors who had been infected with the mosquito-borne virus that is spreading rapidly through the Americas.
Marcelo Addas Carvalho, director of the Blood Center at the Sao Paulo state University of Campinas, said genetic testing confirmed that a man who received a blood transfusion using blood from a donor with Zika in March 2015 became infected with the virus, although the patient did not develop symptoms.
Earlier, the health department of Campinas, an industrial city near Sao Paulo, said a man with gunshot wounds became infected with Zika after multiple blood transfusions in April 2015 that included blood donated by an infected person.
Carvalho said the infection of the wounded man was most probably caused by the transfusion but genetic tests have not yet been conducted to confirm it. He said it was very unlikely the infection was caused by a mosquito bite because the patient was in a hospital intensive care unit for three months.
The patient later died from his gunshot wounds and not the Zika infection, local health officials and Carvalho said.
"The two cases can be considered transmission of the virus through blood transfusion, with greater certainty in the first because we did genetic sequencing comparing the virus in the donor and to the virus in the recipient," he said by telephone.
Zika is usually contracted via mosquito bites, so transmission of the illness through blood transfusions adds another concern to efforts to contain the outbreak. Some countries have tightened procedures for blood donations, to protect blood supplies.
Zika has been reported in 30 countries since it first appeared in the Americas last year in Brazil, where it has been linked to thousands of babies being born with medical writer jobs microcephaly. This is a condition where infants have abnormally small heads and often have underdeveloped brains.
Brazil's Health Ministry, leading efforts to contain a public health emergency in the country worst hit by the virus, emphasized in a statement that the recipient died of his wounds and not from the Zika infection.
It said it was reinforcing instructions to blood banks that people infected with Zika or dengue not be permitted to donate blood for 30 days after full recovery from the active stage of Zika infection.
On Tuesday, the American Red Cross urged prospective donors who have visited Zika outbreak zones to wait at least 28 days before giving blood, but said the risk of transmitting the virus through blood donations was "extremely" low in the continental United States. The agency asked donors who give blood and subsequently develop symptoms consistent with Zika within 14 days to notify the Red Cross so the product can be quarantined.
Also causing concern is the possibility of transmission through sexual contact. Health officials in Texas reported on Tuesday that a person in Dallas became infected after having sex with another person who had traveled in Venezuela, where the virus is circulating.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Will Dunham, Frances Kerry and Bernard Orr)
Story highlightsCoalition of health, consumer groups express concern about painkiller ZohydroThe hydrocodone-based drug is set to be available in MarchOne expert says FDA-approved drug is five times more potent than current medications"It will kill people as soon as it's released," one doctor says.
A potent little painkiller is causing a big stir.
A coalition of more than 40 health care, consumer and addiction treatment groups is urging the Food and Drug Administration to revoke approval of the prescription drug Zohydro.
The hydrocodone-based drug is the latest in a long line of painkillers called opioid analgesics. The FDA approved the medication last fall to treat ch
Facebook's Notify app lets people receive notifications from media companiesincluding CNN, The Weather Channel and Fox Sports. Credit: Courtesy Facebook
Facebook continues to put itself in the middle of anything you do on your phone. After looking to disintermediate texting and video-
Producer and former Swedish House Mafia member Steve Angello has a theory about why artists shun certain streaming services when its time to release an album. Its publicity, he said this week at the Web Summit in Dublin. "A lot of people talk about it."
Without referring to famous critics like Taylor Swift and Prince, Angello said it was shortsighted of artists to pick one streaming service over medical writer another. "I see it as record stores -- why would I not allow a record store to release it? he said, according to Cnet. A 15-year-old might not to be able to afford Apple, Spotify, Tidal and Google. Why would you limit those guys from hearing your music?"
Angello, who is owner and founder of Size Records, said that every streaming service does pay and that artists should go back and talk to their record labels if theyre not seeing adequate compensation. For me its different, he said. Ive always owned all my masters so I get 100 percent.
Joanna Newsom Calls It 'Villainous,' But Spotify
Says Less Artists Are Complaining
He might as well be talking directly to singer/harpist Joanna Newsom, who last month called Spotify a villainous cabal of major labels that was built from the ground up to help labels skimp on paying artists. Spotify says it pays out 70 percent of its gross revenue to rights holders, which includes labels, publishers and direct payments to independent artists (like Angello). An artists share of that money could depend on what kind of record/publishing deal they have in place.
"Downloading and streaming is the evolution of music services," Angello said at the conference. "A lot of people are fighting it, but I think it's the best thing that ever happened."
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