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CDC: Zika Virus Scarier Than We Thought


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    • By LNN
      CDC reports nearly 300,000 more deaths in 2020 than were expected
      Overall, an estimated 299,028 excess deaths occurred from late January through October 3, 2020, with 198,081 (66%) excess deaths attributed to COVID-19. The largest percentage increases were seen among adults aged 25–44 years and among Hispanic or Latino persons.   https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6942e2.htm  
    • By Raquel Segovia
      Aunque no está completamente comprobado, el virus volvió a indicarse como responsable del nacimiento de niños con defectos. La última y preocupante cifra señaló que en Estados Unidos ocurrió en uno de cada diez bebés de madres afectadas
       
       
      La prevención es muy importante para evitar la picadura Aunque hasta ahora no fue declarado como la causa definitiva, las investigaciones en continúan relacionando al virus de Zika con las malformaciones congénitas. La última es la del Centro de Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC), que reveló que alrededor del 10% de las mujeres embarazadas infectadas en Estados Unidos en 2016 tuvieron un hijo con la condición mencionada.
      El estudio examinó un subgrupo de 250 mujeres infectadas. Entre ellas, 24 llevaban en el vientre un feto o habían dado a luz a un niño que tenía un defecto cerebral. "El Zika sigue siendo una amenaza para todas las mujeres embarazadas en Estados Unidos", recordó Anne Schuchat, directora interina del CDC, haciendo énfasis en "el pronto regreso de un clima más cálido y la cercanía de la temporada de mosquitos".
      Entre enero y diciembre de 2016, se encontraron casi 1.300 mujeres embarazadas con signos de una posible infección por Zika en todo el territorio estadounidense y países de alrededor, exceptuando Puerto Rico. Más de 50 nacidos de ellos presentaron malformaciones congénitas que podrían haber sido causadas por el zika. Sin embargo, estos datos no fueron confirmados mediante análisis de laboratorio.
        El zika puede llevar a un defecto de nacimiento llamado microcefalia (AP) El CDC señaló que la infección por este virus durante el primer trimestre del embarazo plantea un mayor riesgo para el feto. Aproximadamente el 15% de los niños afectados en este período nacen con malformaciones congénitas.
      El informe revela asimismo que aproximadamente uno de cada tres recién nacidos potencialmente expuestos a la infección durante el embarazo no fue sometido a estudios sobre posibles defectos neurológicos. Y sólo uno de cada cuatro fue sometido a un escaneo del cerebro. Por último, remarcaron la importancia de la atención médica para el diagnóstico sistemático en todas las mujeres embarazadas potencialmente expuestas.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Photo: Tara Moore/Getty Images
      Sure, your weekday may be on the quieter side — especially if you spend the better part of the day typing away in a cubicle, using Slack instead of your voice to communicate with other people — but how often do you experience true, honest-to-goodness silence?
      Not nearly often enough, as it turns out. According to a CDC report released earlier today and highlighted by the Washington Post, our lives are way, way too noisy — noisy enough, in fact, that a disconcertingly high number of Americans are losing their hearing way before old age.
      The report analyzed data from the 2011–2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which collected information from a sample of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69. The findings were twofold: First, a significant chunk of people across age groups are suffering from some degree of hearing loss, and second, we’re pretty bad at knowing when it happens to us. As the Post explained:
      A quarter of people ages 20 to 69 were suffering some hearing deficits, the CDC reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, even though the vast majority of the people in the study claimed to have good or excellent hearing.

      The researchers found that 24 percent of adults had “audiometric notches” — a deterioration in the softest sound a person can hear — in one or both ears … The review’s more surprising finding — which the CDC had not previously studied — was that 53 percent of those people said they had no regular exposure to loud noise at work. That means the hearing loss was caused by other environmental factors, including listening to music through headphones with the volume turned up too high.
      That last part helps explain another surprising finding: Hearing loss starts a lot earlier than we think it does, affecting roughly one in five people in their 20s. Even short-term exposure to loud noises can do some damage, the Post noted: Spending “14 minutes at a 100-decibel sporting event or two minutes at a 110-decibel rock concert” can have a lasting effect. Just another reminder than everything fun is bad for you. And also that it wouldn’t kill you to lower the volume a little bit.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      MEXICO CITY, Mexico—While the world awaits a Zika vaccine, the first ever injection against dengue fever is spreading, with Mexico becoming next week the latest country where people can get the shot.
      French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi is presenting its Dengvaxia vaccine to doctors at an event in eastern Mexico on Saturday, while people aged nine to 45 will be able to get the shot from their physicians from Monday.
      After public programs were launched in the Philippines and Brazil’s state of Parana this year, the company is rolling out the vaccine in the private sector in Mexico while health authorities prepare a public immunization plan.
      The head of Sanofi’s dengue program, Guillaume Leroy, told Agence France-Presse in Mexico City that the company already has one million doses ready in the country.
      Leroy said it was difficult to estimate how much the vaccine will cost in Mexico as it will depend on the distribution networks and the public vaccination program.
      The mosquito-borne virus costs governments around the world $18 billion a year, Leroy said.
      “We estimate that in Mexico and in other countries that the benefits will outweigh the costs of the (vaccine) intervention,” he said.
      The company will have a “fair policy throughout the world and affordable for health authorities.”
      Zika vaccine
      Mexico was the first country in the world to give regulatory approval to the vaccine in December last year. Seven others followed suit, including Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and the Philippines.
      Sanofi is awaiting authorizations in 18 other countries.
      The fast-growing disease infects as many as 400 million people every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has endorsed the vaccine.
      Sanofi’s research and development work took 20 years, costing more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion).
      Now, Sanofi and other pharmaceutical firms are racing to find a weapon against Zika, which like dengue is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
      “Developing a vaccine against Zika will be easier after developing a vaccine against dengue,” Leroy said, noting that the viruses share genetic similarities.
      “All these investments (on dengue) through more than 100 collaborations worldwide allow us today to gain a lot of time on different vaccinal approaches” against Zika, he said.
      Some 70 countries and territories have reported local mosquito-borne Zika transmission, with Brazil by far the hardest hit and the WHO declaring it a public health emergency.
      Zika causes only mild symptoms for most people such as fever and a rash, but infected pregnant women can give birth to babies with microcephaly, a deformation marked by abnormally small brains and heads.
      – Vaccine concerns –
      Scientists had also long been stumped by dengue, which has four separate strains, forcing researchers to find a drug able to fight all of them at once.
      Dengue can trigger a crippling fever, along with muscle and joint pain.
      But clinical tests on 40,000 people from 15 countries found Dengvaxia can immunize two thirds of people aged nine years and older, rising to 93 percent for the more severe form of the disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever.
      It was also found to reduce the risk of hospitalization by 80 percent.
      Brazil launched a public immunization program for 500,000 people in Parana in August, while the Philippines has injected 489,000 public school children aged nine since it became in April the first country to use the vaccine.
      Philippines health department spokesman Eric Tayag said authorities followed WHO recommendations, which say it should not be given to children under nine years old.
      “We are tracking each child” to look for any sign of dengue or side effects, Tayag said.
      Some scientists have voiced concerns about studies showing that the vaccine could give dengue to people who have never had the virus.
      Scott Halstead, founder of the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative, told AFP that the WHO was “being hasty” in recommending the vaccine and that people should be tested to see if they have had dengue before being vaccinated.
      “It’s not ethical to give a vaccine that harms someone,” Halstead said.
      But Leroy noted that Dengvaxia, in addition to the WHO’s green light, is getting approval from government health regulators.
      “It is a great solution and the first solution because dengue did not have until now any specific medial solution to treat this illness,” Leroy said, adding that Sanofi is conducting studies in Asia among younger people to see if the vaccine’s reach can expand.

      http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/814368/mexico-joins-philippines-brazil-with-dengue-vaccine
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Officials in Nicaragua say the first baby with the birth defect of microcephaly has been born to a mother infected with the Zika virus.
      Government spokeswoman and first lady Rosario Murillo said Friday evening that the baby was born in the capital of Managua. Health officials had been tracking the woman since confirming that during the fourth month of her pregnancy she showed rash and fever symptoms. Doctors did not test her for Zika at that time.
      Ultrasounds later suggested the baby had microcephaly, characterized by a small head and a brain that is not fully developed The child was born very underweight, weighing less than 4 pounds.
      Murillo says the mother and baby are in stable condition.
      Neighboring Guatemala announced its first Zika-related microcephaly case earlier this month.
      https://www.yahoo.com/news/nicaragua-first-zika-related-case-microcephaly-180105529.html
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A new analysis based on data from seven countries hit hard by Zika virus found a strong link between Zika infection and Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), a complication marked by numbness, weakness, and sometimes paralysis of the limbs.
      In other Zika research developments, scientists published new reports on co-infections with other mosquito-borne viruses and fatal encephalitis.
      GBS elevated up to 10-fold
      For months now, global health officials have said there's a scientific consensus about a link between Zika virus and GBS. The syndrome is a rare complication of other virus infections, including other members of the flavivirus family.
      Today's letter to the New England Journal of Medicine reviews Zika and GBS patterns in seven countries: Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Suriname, and Venezuela. Authors include health ministry officials and experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
      According to data submitted by the countries for Zika and GBS, changes in Zika incidence in 2015 and 2016 were closely associated with the rise and fall of GBS. Differences from GBS baselines for some countries, however, were much higher than others, with the greatest percentage rises reported in Suriname and Venezuela.
      The team explored a possible link between dengue infection and GBS incidence but didn't find one.
      Women had a 75% higher incidence rate of Zika than men, especially those in the 20- to 49-year-old age-group, which could reflect differences in exposure, more severe symptoms, or differences in healthcare-seeking behavior, the report said. The GBS incidence, though, was 28% higher in men and increased with age, consistent with findings for other similar diseases.
      The investigators concluded that the levels they found—2.0 to 9.8 times as high as baseline—shows that GBS poses a substantial burden on health systems in the region. They added that more studies are needed to show that Zika infection is a cause of GBS.
      Zika, chikungunya, dengue co-infections
      Multiplex testing for Zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses in Nicaragua found that coinfections are common, a research group from the United States and Nicaragua reported yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
      They based their findings on 346 serum samples submitted by healthcare providers and tested from Sep 1, 2015, to Apr 3, 2016. Of 263 that were positive for one or more viruses, 192 tested positive for one of the three mosquito-borne viruses and 71 had evidence of co-infection involving two or all three viruses.
      The researchers concluded that co-infections are common and that because the diseases have similar clinical presentations, multiplex tests are needed to help with patient care and surveillance.
      Fatal encephalitis in an adult
      Brazilian researchers, meanwhile, reported the first known case of fatal encephalitis in an adult infected with Zika virus.
      According to their report in the Journal of Clinical Virology, the patient was a previously healthy 47-year-old woman who wasn't pregnant. She sought care for an itchy rash in joint pain in early January. Four days later she experienced lower limb weakness, dysarthria, and confusion.
      The next day she was admitted to the hospital, where her condition deteriorated rapidly, requiring mechanical ventilation. Cerebrospinal fluid was positive for Zika antibodies and her urine tested positive for Zika virus. Her doctors saw massive brain swelling on computed tomography. Despite aggressive treatment, the woman died 11 days after she was admitted.
      The authors said the case is a reminder for clinicians to consider Zika virus as a cause of encephalitis and to be aware of how severe the infections can be.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Donated blood at a bank in Indianapolis. The F.D.A. has recommended that all donated blood in the United States be screened for the Zika virus. CreditMichael Conroy/Associated Press
      The Food and Drug Administration on Friday took steps to safeguard the nation’s blood supply from the Zika virus, calling for all blood banks to screen donations for the infection even in states where the virus is not circulating.
      The recommendations are an acknowledgment that sexual transmission may facilitate the spread of Zika even in areas where mosquitoes carrying the virus are not present. Officials also want to prepare for the possibility that clusters of local infection will continue to pop up in parts of the United States for years to come.
      “There could be multiple outbreaks of Zika happening outside the known current ones in South Florida, but because we are not actively looking they could be happening silently,” said Dr. Peter J. Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, who applauded the F.D.A.’s move.
      Without federal funds, it is generally not possible for local health departments to conduct active surveillance for Zika virus in the blood or urine of patients with fever or rash, he added.
      “In some ways the inaction from Congress has forced the F.D.A. to adopt this position,” Dr. Hotez added. “They have no other choice.”
      The agency urged blood centers to use one of two experimental tests intended to detect active infections, called nucleic acid tests, before releasing donated blood for use in transfusions. As an alternative, banks may decontaminate plasma and platelets with so-called pathogen reduction technology.
      But the recommendations are likely to pose a significant challenge for some blood banks and for the third-party labs that perform much of the blood screening nationwide, some experts said.
      Eleven states must put the new safeguards into place within four weeks. They include Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Louisiana, New York and Texas, which have many residents who travel to Zika-affected countries or are near an area that already has locally acquired mosquito-borne cases.
      Other states have 12 weeks to carry out the recommendations.
      “This is a bombshell, because this is extremely rapid introduction of a new test nationwide that’s almost unprecedented,” said Dr. Jeffrey McCullough, emeritus professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “To try to implement this, in four weeks, is really, really difficult.”
      Yet the new safeguards also are necessary, Dr. McCullough said. Under current guidelines, it is too difficult to identify infected donors by “trying to sort out risky donors by history of where they’ve been or what they’ve exposed to.”
      Nationwide, nearly 14 million units of whole blood and red blood cells are collected each year from about seven million donors. Every day, as many as 36,000 units of red blood cells are given to patients, along with 7,000 platelet units and 10,000 units of plasma. Consistent screening of the blood supply is an enormous task.
      There are more than 11,500 confirmed cases of Zika virus in states and territories, according to the C.D.C. Nearly 2,500 of them are people in the continental United States who traveled abroad where Zika-infected mosquitoes are circulating. More than 30 cases were acquired in Florida.
      Puerto Rico has been screening all blood donations since March. TheCenters for Disease Control and Prevention in June found that asurprisingly high percentage of donors had signs of active infection with the Zika virus.
      The F.D.A. provisionally approved two screening tests for Zika in blood donations on an investigational basis in March and June respectively. The first is made by Roche Molecular Systems, and the second by a collaboration between Hologic Inc. and Grifols.
      Neither test is fully F.D.A approved yet, and the facilities using them are enrolled in a continuing study. As part of Roche’s investigation, four centralized testing labs that screen blood for multiple banks in the South have been “collecting and testing blood for weeks now,” said Tony Hardiman, who leads the blood screening operations at Roche.
      For the 11 states that need to be ready in a month, he said, “we are pretty much locked and loaded.”
      “Our focus now is what do we do for the rest of the country to bring them up in 12 weeks,” he added.
      Officials at Blood Systems, which operates blood banks in 24 states, said they will be able to test blood donations in California and some Southern states like Mississippi in a month. The company will then work on getting sites in the Rocky Mountain States operational, said Dr. Ralph R. Vassallo Jr., the chief medical and scientific officer.
      Creative Testing Solutions, a large blood donor testing lab, already is using both experimental Zika screening tests. In Tampa, the company has relied on Roche’s test since the Zika outbreaks began in Miami-Dade County.
      In its Dallas and Phoenix outposts, C.T.S. has installed two so-called Panther machines to be able to screen tubes of blood with the Hologic-Grifols test, in case Zika-infected mosquitoes arrive along the Gulf Coast.
      In light of Friday’s F.D.A. recommendations, officials said they will have to train more employees to use new tests and significantly scale up.
      “We test 35 percent of the blood supply, so in order to be able to do that in all states in 12 weeks, we are going to need additional pieces of equipment,” said Marc Pearce, a spokesman for C.T.S. — 12 more Panthers and one more machine that runs the Roche test.
      Asked on a conference call with reporters about funding the new safeguards, Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the F.D.A.’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said, “I can’t speak to the cost of implementation at this time.”
      Hospitals may wind up paying more for each unit of blood because of additional screening costs, some experts said.
      “When hospitals hear this, they will be concerned that they could see a cost increase of up to $8 more per unit,” Dr. Vassallo said, which is roughly how much it costs to screen each unit for the Zika contamination.
      This month, after the first cases of local transmission in Miami were discovered, some blood banks near Zika hot zones in Florida began screening blood donations. According to Dr. Marks, one donation contaminated with the virus had been found in recent weeks in the state.
      The bag of contaminated blood was discarded. “The system worked correctly,” Dr. Marks said.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      U.S. health officials are warning hundreds of thousands of clinicians in hospitals around the country to be on the lookout for an emerging and highly drug-resistant type of yeast that is causing potentially fatal infections in hospitalized patients around the world.
      Most people are familiar with the garden variety kind of yeast infections that people get on the skin or in their genitals. But invasive yeast infections can be fatal, especially for patients in intensive care or having surgery. Others at risk include people with diabetes, patients taking powerful antibiotics and antifungal medications, and those with catheters.
      This emerging strain of yeast, known as Candida auris, has triggered outbreaks in health-care settings, causing bloodstream, wound and ear infections. Since 2009, the pathogen has been found in nine countries on four continents, including one possible infection in the United States in 2013.
      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a clinical alert late last week to U.S. health-care facilities and dozens of medical societies to share with their members.
      “CDC is concerned that C. auris will emerge in new locations, including the United States,” the alert said. The infections have most commonly been acquired in hospitals and occurred several weeks into a patient's hospital stay.
      Officials warn that the yeast doesn’t respond to common antifungal drugs and is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods.
      “What concerned us is that it is potentially resistant to one or two, if not all three” main classes of antifungal drugs used to treat these infections, said Tom Chiller, the CDC’s top fungus expert, in an interview Tuesday.
      Invasive infections with any type of Candida can be fatal. Based on information from a limited number of patients, 60 percent of people with this new type of Candida infection have died, but it’s not clear how many of them had other serious illnesses that also increased their risk of death.
      Most hospital labs in the United States also don’t have the capacity to identify the new strain because it can be confused with other more common types of yeast. As a result, misidentification could lead to inappropriate treatment, he said.
      That’s particularly important with this organism because the limited data so far suggests that the infections have occurred primarily in patients who were already in the hospital for other reasons. Unlike other types of yeast that typically spread from person to person, “this one seems to get into hospital settings and stay there,” Chiller said, and may spread from contact with the environment, such as contaminated surfaces or equipment.
      The organism was first identified in 2009 in Japan from a patient’s external ear discharge. Infections have also occurred in South Korea, India, South Africa, Kuwait, Pakistan, Colombia, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. Because identification requires specialized laboratory methods, the CDC alert said infections likely occurred in other countries but have not been identified or reported.
      Based on a review of specimens collected in the past, CDC officials said they are aware of one possible infection in the United States in 2013 that was collected by a private lab. The CDC has tested a small sample ofCandida specimens over the last eight years, and so far the deadly new yeast has not turned up. But the testing is limited, he said — there’s surveillance at only four sites in the country, and only about 7,000 samples have been analyzed.
      The CDC is recommending that hospitals and other health-care facilities that suspect they have a patient with such an infection contact local public health authorizes and the CDC. They also recommend that patients carrying or infected with this organism have their own rooms, and that their rooms are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every day with an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant that targets fungus.
      Source: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Scientists raised the possibility that the Zika virus can be transmitted by oral sex — perhaps even by kissing — on Friday in a letter to The New England Journal of Medicine describing one such case in France.
      A single incident may seem trivial. But until early this year, there was only one known instance of sexual transmission of the Zika virus — a 2008 case in which a mosquito researcher just back from Africa infected his wife in Colorado.
      Now scientists believe that sexual transmission is an important driver of the Zika epidemic in the Americas. Cases have been reported in 10 countries where no mosquitoes carry the virus, including France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and New Zealand.
      In the French case, a 46-year-old man returned to Paris from Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 10, shortly after experiencing Zika symptoms in Brazil — fever,headache and a rash — that had just ended when he reached France.
      He and a 24-year-old partner had sex seven times between Feb. 11 and Feb. 20, each involving vaginal sex without ejaculation and oral sex with ejaculation.
      The woman fell ill on Feb. 20. Both were tested for Zika infection on Feb. 23. The man had high levels of the virus in his semen and urine, but none in his blood or saliva. The woman had the virus in her urine and saliva, andantibodies to the virus in her blood. But a vaginal swab was negative for the infection.
      The two were using oral sex as a form of birth control, said Dr. Yazdan Yazdanpanah, an infectious disease specialist at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris and one of the report’s authors.
      “I don’t think this changes anything, but it shows you how elaborate the number of avenues of possible transmission can be,” said Dr. William Schaffner, head of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical School.
      He agreed that the most likely transmission route was oral sex, although he said it was possible that the woman was infected by pre-ejaculate during vaginal sex, or that the couple’s recollections of each sex act were imperfect.
      “It could be that it’s a moment of passion, it’s late at night and everyone’s had a few liqueurs,” he said.
      Dr. Yazdanpanah said the two were interviewed separately and their descriptions matched.
      Dr. John T. Brooks, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studying sexual transmission of the Zika virus, said he was “not particularly surprised” to see transmission that was probably by oral sex.
      Transmission through kissing is unlikely, Dr. Brooks said.
      “Casual kissing has got to be safe because, if it weren’t, don’t you think we’d see a lot more Zika? Every mom who kissed her baby would pass it on,” he said. “To be sure, we’d have to look for deep kissing in the absence of sexual contact, and that’s hard to find.”
      Source: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Doctors are monitoring 279 pregnant women with confirmed or suspected Zika virus infections in the United States and its territories, federal health officials said Friday.
      Of those women, 157 are in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and 122 are in territories, including Puerto Rico. Public health officials are gathering data on the health consequences of the infection, including the rate at which fetuses develop abnormally shrunken heads and brain damage, a birth defect called microcephaly.
      Also on Friday, the World Health Organization confirmed that the strain of Zika virus in Cape Verde, just off the western coast of Africa, is the same strain that is spreading in Brazil. Almost 200 pregnant women in Cape Verde have been infected, and the virus has been blamed for three cases of microcephaly there.
      The rising numbers of pregnant American women testing positive — Friday’s figure is more than double the previous count of 113 — reflect a new case definition used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rather than a surge in cases, according to Dr. Margaret Honein, the chief of the agency’s birth defects division.
      No cases transmitted by mosquito have yet been reported in the 50 states. The number of infected pregnant women in this country began rising dramatically in February, probably reflecting the spread of the Zika virus from Brazil to more countries visited by Americans.
      Most of the 279 women are still pregnant, Dr. Honein said, and fewer than a dozen have experienced “adverse outcomes,” such as stillbirths, microcephaly or other congenital problems.
      A “relatively small number” of the infections clearly resulted from sexual transmission rather than mosquito bites, she added. But in most cases, it was difficult to determine how the women became infected because they had lived in or had traveled to areas where mosquitoes carrying the virus were biting.
      The C.D.C. previously reported only pregnant women with symptoms like rash, fever or bloodshot eyes. But “we’ve learned a lot in the last four months,” Dr. Honein said.
      At least four published studies have cited cases in which women with no memory of having symptoms gave birth to children with birth defects.
      The new case definition includes all women who have had a positive test for Zika virus, or a likely positive for antibodies to it.
      Antibody tests are not as accurate as tests for the virus itself because previous infections with dengue fever or shots to prevent yellow fevercan create false positives.
      “C.D.C. wants to make sure we are monitoring all women at risk for poor outcomes,” said Dr. Denise J. Jamieson, a co-leader of thepregnancy and birth defects team at the agency.
      Each Thursday, the agency will update the number of infected pregnant women in the United States, officials said.
      The outbreak in Cape Verde, a Portuguese-speaking country with close links to both Brazil and West Africa, has been a puzzle for months.
      The intense outbreak in the island nation started last October, just as Brazil’s surge in microcephalic babies was detected. But confirmation that it was caused by the Brazilian strain, rather than the much older African one, did not come until the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, sequenced the genomes of the infecting viruses.
      Cape Verde’s outbreak is now fading, said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the W.H.O.’s regional director for Africa, and there has been no outbreak in Senegal, which she called Cape Verde’s “door out to other countries.”
      Although that might suggest that Africans have some immunity, “it’s never good news to hear that a virus with neuropathic effects is on your doorstep,” said Dr. Bruce Aylward, the W.H.O.’s chief of emergency response.
      “We don’t know what the level of population immunity is in Africa, and we don’t know if it will mitigate some of the impact,” he said. “So we have to work against a worst-case scenario.”
      Although laboratory capacity in Africa has been built up in the wake of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, the continent is still very poor and the response to the W.H.O.’s appeal to donors for a $50 million Zika fund has been “anemic,” Dr. Aylward said.
      A recent study in Clinical Microbiology Reviews looked at 80 sets of blood tests for the Zika virus in countries around the world between 1947, when the virus was discovered in Uganda, and 2014, when it was detected in French Polynesia — the last major outbreak before it reached South America.
      Some samples are small, some tests used methods that would confuse Zika with related viruses, and the results range wildly: For example, 12 percent of 261 Ugandans tested in the 1940s were immune to the virus, while nearly 60 percent of 2,457 Senegalese tested in the 1970s were.
      The authors concluded that the Zika virus was probably endemic to all of sub-Saharan Africa, although there was no way to know how many people had immunity at any given time.
      Although Dr. Aylward said it is still not known whether immunity to the African strain confers protection from the Brazilian one, Scott C. Weaver, the director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and an expert on the Zika virus, said he would be “very surprised if there weren’t complete cross-protection between the two.”
      Genetically, the two strains are very closely related, he said. By contrast, strains of yellow fever have much more variation, and yet he did not know of a single instance in which the yellow fever vaccine, which is based on one strain gathered years ago, failed to protect against the other strains.
      Testing in animal models, including immune-deficient mice, has just begun, he said, but he could not name any laboratory trying to prove that infection with one strain of Zika protects against later infection with another.
      “We assume there’s cross-protection, and we’re interested in other questions,” he said, including whether microcephaly is typically caused by Zika alone.
      At the White House on Friday, President Obama pressured Congress to give him $1.9 billion for the fight against Zika.
      Americans should tell their Congressional representatives to “get on the job,” he said.
      “This is something that is solvable — it is not something that we have to panic about, but it is something we have to take seriously,” Mr. Obama said in the Oval Office after a briefing from top health officials.
      Congress should not take its scheduled Memorial Day vacation without passing the legislation, he said.
      His advisers have said the president would veto a House measure that provides only $622 million. The administration was “encouraged” by the Senate’s $1.1 billion version but is not promising to sign it.
      Referring to the funding Mr. Obama has requested, “anything short of that will be insufficient,” said Eric Schultz, the deputy White House press secretary.
      Source: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      (CNN)The first commercial test for Zika virus has received emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
      According to the test's developers, Quest Diagnostics, the newly approved diagnostic tool will become available to physicians in the United States and Puerto Rico as early as next week. Puerto Rico is considered to be among the most affected areas, compared to the rest of the United States, with potential for hundreds more infections.
      Currently, people who suspect they are infected with the virus can only be tested through anetwork of laboratories approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The current process requires a visit to physicians who must then go through the health department to get samples tested. Results can take up to three weeks and some people in the United States have reported challenges in getting tested, despite meeting the testing criteria.
      This new authorization is hoped to increase capacity for testing in the United States as well as shorten the time taken to receive a diagnosis.
      "The availability of our new molecular Zika test provides physicians broad access to a diagnostic tool for managing the Zika outbreak," Rick L. Pesano, vice president of research and development at Quest Diagnostics, said in a statement released Thursday.
      How the test works
      The commercial test uses a process known as real-time RT-PCR to test for the presence of Zika virus in blood samples. This means it can only detect the virus when it is still present in blood. A negative test, therefore, does not conclude that the virus isn't still in the body.
      Additional tests -- including those that look for the presence of antibodies against the virus, known as serological tests -- can further clarify this, and are currently available through the CDC. Quest plan to offer such tests services in the future, if further emergency use is approved.
      Samples for the currently approved diagnostic by Quest will be analyzed by trained personnel in laboratories run by Quest's subsidiary, Focus Diagnostics Inc. All cases of Zika must continue to be reported to the CDC for surveillance purposes.
      How useful will it be?
       
      The CDC recommends testing for anyone with symptoms of Zika infection who has traveled to an area with transmission within the past two weeks, as well as any pregnant women who have lived or visited affected regions. Testing is also recommended for males who have lived in, or visited, an affected region, in case of any sexual transmission of the virus. Infants born to mothers who lived or traveled to transmission areas during their pregnancy should also be tested.
      The CDC recently confirmed that Zika virus infections in pregnant women can cause microcephaly and other birth defects, further increasing the need for improved testing capacity.
      "As the period (in) which the virus is present in the bloodstream, is transient, access to testing via the CDC network may not be possible for frontline physicians," said Rosanna Peeling, professor and chairwoman of diagnostics research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
      Peeling has seen challenges in diagnosis, particularly due to the presence of dengue and other viruses in the same family, within transmission regions.
      "Having a US FDA approved test that is commercially available will not only improve access to diagnosis, but will provide a useful tool for broadening our understanding of the infectivity and transmission dynamics of Zika virus infection," she said.
      Source: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The World Health Organization says there is now scientific consensus that the Zika virus is connected with microcephaly — a condition in which babies are born with very small heads and brain damage.
      Scientists have been working for months to confirm a link between Zika and microcephaly, ever since Brazil reported a startling increase in cases last fall.
      Zika infection during pregnancy appears to increase the risk for several types of birth defects and miscarriages, a recent study found. And scientists have found the virus in the brains of affected babies.
      But all this evidence is circumstantial. So the big question has been: Is Zika really the culprit?
      Now WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree there's enough evidence to say, yes, Zika is linked to microcephaly.
      "At this point the most pressing question people want answered is, 'If I get a Zika infection during pregnancy, what are the chances my baby is going to be affected?' " says Dr. Anne Schuchat, the deputy director of the CDC. "We really feel a sense of urgency to both answer that question and to help stop the spread of the virus."
      Currently the Zika virus is circulating in 33 countries in the Americas and has sickened hundreds of thousands of people.
      Source: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Zika virus now spreading widely throughout the hemisphere probably arrived in the Americas in a single traveler in the second half of 2013 — almost a year earlier than previous estimates — according to a new study of the virus’s genome led by Brazilian and British researchers.
      Experts were divided in their opinions of the new study, published Thursday in the journal Science. Some praised the work, while others said it was too limited to draw such a specific conclusion.
      By counting mutations in the viral genomes in different blood samples over time, the scientists created a “molecular clock” that estimates how fast the virus mutated.
      The researchers then compared new samples with earlier ones from Asia, where the Zika virus had circulated for decades, and from the South Pacific, where it began circulating in 2007. The team calculated that the Zika virus arrived in the Americas between May and December 2013.
      They also concluded that it probably — but not necessarily — arrived in Brazil first.
      The virus was not positively identified in Brazil until May 2015. But by then it had clearly been circulating in the country’s northeast for many months, because cities there were experiencing large outbreaks of a mysterious disease causing rash, fever and bloodshot eyes.
      (The virus did not become headline news around the world untilDecember, when health officials in Brazil, alarmed over a surge in infants born with tiny heads, warned women not to become pregnant. The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency on Feb. 1.)
      The new study relies on just 23 viral genomes. They include samples of Zika virus obtained in Thailand, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands and 20 in the Americas, including nine from Brazil and the rest from Colombia, Martinique, Haiti, Guatemala, Suriname and Puerto Rico.
      The Haitian virus was noted as being particularly unusual, because it was collected in December 2014 — more than a year before the virus’s presence in Haiti was confirmed by the W.H.O. this past January.
      The gene sequences from the Americas were all closely related, and most resembled one collected in French Polynesia in November 2013.
      Two earlier studies have suggested that the virus reached Brazil either with the influx of athletes and tourists arriving for the 2014 soccer World Cup, which was played in host cities all over Brazil in June to July that year, or for the Va’a World Sprints, a set of outrigger canoe races held in Rio de Janeiro in mid-August of that year.
      Source: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  has indicated that women exposed to the Zika virus may be permitted to use contraception to avoid pregnancy, in a departure from Catholic teaching. However he reiterated the church’s staunch opposition to abortion, saying it was a crime and “absolute evil”.
      His comments came as women in South America frantically try to terminate pregnancies for fear of giving birth to babies with microcephaly, which gives them unusually small heads.
      Speaking to reporters on the papal plane as he returned to Rome after a visit to Mexico, Francis obliquely suggested that artificial contraception could be used in extreme situations to avoid pregnancy.
      Unlike abortion, “avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil” and in certain circumstances it may be “the lesser evil”.
      He referred to the exceptional dispensation issued by one of his predecessors, Pope Paul VI, who permitted Catholic nuns in Africa to take birth control pills in the face of the risk of being raped. He was thought to be referring to the conflict in what was the Belgian Congo in the 1960s and 70s.
      But, Francis said, abortion could never be allowed, even for women who may be carrying foetuses with serious brain defects caused by the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Abortion was “a crime”, he said. “It is killing one person to save another. It is what the mafia does … It is an absolute evil.” Earlier the Vatican ruled out easing its ban on abortion in the face of the Zika virus. “Not only is increased access to abortion and abortifacients [abortion-inducing drugs] an illegitimate response to this crisis, but since it terminates the life of a child it is fundamentally not preventative,” the Vatican said.
      The Holy See representative to the UN announced the Vatican’s response during the launch of a $65m (£45m) campaign by the World 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Organisation to tackle the spread of the Zika crisis. An estimated 4,000 babies have been born with microcephaly, which has been linked to their mothers becoming infected with the Zika virus by mosquito bites. “It must be emphasised that a diagnosis of microcephaly in a child should not warrant a death sentence,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the UN. Such a response would be “the confirmation of a failure of the international community to stop the spread of the disease”, he added.
      Abortion is banned or highly restricted in many countries affected by the Zika crisis. Earlier this month, the Catholic church in Brazil – one of the worst affected countries – said it strongly opposed a move to permit abortions for pregnant women exposed to the Zika virus. “There is no justification to defend abortion,” it said.
      Source: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The president will submit a request to Congress on Monday
         
       
       
      President Obama is asking Congress to provide $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus, the mosquito-borne illness that could be causing the proliferation of a rare birth defect in some Latin American countries.
      The president will submit a formal request to Congress on Monday requesting money to up increase mosquito control programs, help build response and support capacities in states and territories where transmission is possible, expand research into the link between the virus and birth defects, and help countries currently facing the virus keep it from spreading.
      “There is much we do not yet know about Zika and its relationship to the poor health outcomes that are being reported in Zika-affected areas,” a White House Fact Sheet reads. “We must work aggressively to investigate these outbreaks, and mitigate, to the best extent possible, the spread of the virus.”
      Brazil has been hardest hit by the virus, which has been detected in 26 countries and territories in the Americas. World health officials believe it could spread to three or four million people this year, including in the United States.
      The request also includes an additional $250 million in federal assistance in Puerto Rico for women and children who are at risk for or have been diagnosed with microcephaly, the birth disorder linked to the virus. A public health emergency has been declared in the U.S. territory because of the virus.
      Democrats in Congress pushed the president to formulate aproper response plan for the virus and called for additional resources and an interagency response to fighting the virus. The White House has been insistent that the administration is 
      responding aggressively to the virus, which has not yet been transmitted via mosquito in the U.S. The virus has already been transmitted on U.S. soil via sexual contact.
      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been actively working to keep the public informed about the virus. Officials are now advising pregnant women and their male partners to use condoms or abstain from sex if either have traveled to or live in Zika infected areas.
       
      Video Source: http://time.com/4211801/zika-virus-obama-congress/         “There is much we do not yet know about Zika and its relationship to the poor health outcomes that are being reported in Zika-affected areas,” a White House Fact Sheet reads. “We must work aggressively to investigate these outbreaks, and mitigate, to the best extent possible, the spread of the virus.”
      Brazil has been hardest hit by the virus, which has been detected in 26 countries and territories in the Americas. World health officials believe it could spread to three or four million people this year, including in the United States.
      The request also includes an additional $250 million in federal assistance in Puerto Rico for women and children who are at risk for or have been diagnosed with microcephaly, the birth disorder linked to the virus. A public health emergency has been declared in the U.S. territory because of the virus.
      Democrats in Congress pushed the president to formulate aproper response plan for the virus and called for additional resources and an interagency response to fighting the virus. The White House has been insistent that the administration is 

    • By admin
      Brazilian health authorities confirmed on Thursday a case of transmission of Zika through a transfusion of blood from a donor who had been infected with the mosquito-borne virus that is spreading rapidly through the Americas.
      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. Officials said they determined that one of the people whose donated blood was used in the transfusion had been infected with Zika.
      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 microcephaly. This is a condition where infants have abnormally small heads and often have underdeveloped brains.
      Campinas health officials said the donor of the contaminated blood developed symptoms afterwards that were mistaken for dengue, a virus borne by the same mosquito that transmits Zika. A blood test that showed he had Zika was not completed until Jan. 28 this year.
      The blood center at the University of Campinas said a second person who donated blood in May developed symptoms and tested positive for Zika, though the recipient of the contaminated blood has not developed symptoms of the virus.
      Brazil's Health Ministry said the first 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 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ; Editing by Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. )
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    • By admin
      A leading infectious disease doctor is warning that not only is the virus sexually transmitted but that it could affect blood donations
      New concerns have emerged over the widespread Zika epidemic as it's feared the virus can be spread through sex and can impact blood donations.
      Scientists probing the rapid onslaught of 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  claim pregnant women can catch it through unprotected sex. At least one UK resident was warned not to have sex without a 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  after contracting the virus. Leading infectious diseases expert Dr Amesh Adalja at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says it has been well documented and part of that research was focused in the UK.
      And there's fresh concerns that it could end up contaminating emergency 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  . Only one in five people show symptoms of the disease and don't seek medical treatment - meaning Zika is a benign illness for the vast majority of patients.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Dr Amesh A. Adalja is a leading infectious disease researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center But this opens up major concerns for doctors worried that the disease can spread person to person - and infect 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  - without a mosquito bite. Dr Adalja said: "There have been cases of sexual transmission of Zika from male to female and, if the woman is 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  , the virus could theoretically pass to the gestating fetus. There are fears that the virus could end up contaminating emergency blood supplies "At least one case report of a sexual transmission event that spread Zika in the medical literature.
      "It involved a male scientist who was in 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in 2008 and then traveled home to Colorado. "Both he and his wife developed Zika virus, though she had not traveled to any Zika prevalent areas but had engaged in sexual intercourse.
      "Interestingly, his symptoms included having blood in his semen (hematospermia).
      Getty The Zika virus can be transmitted through unprotected sex "Hematospermia was also reported in a Tahitian patient in 2013 and the Zika virus was subsequently isolated from the semen.
      "The US CDC has not made a recommendation regarding sexual transmission to pregnant women however, as a precaution, 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  has recommended condom use in a male patient returning from Zika-affected areas for 28 days and for 6 months in those with confirmed Zika. "More evidence of sexual transmission including its likelihood and its timeframe are needed."
      James Breeden Six young babies with microcephaly and their parents wait to be seen by medics in Brazil Millions of British people visit the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  each year and the Government is warning pregnant women not to travel. However, these new revelations are worrying not only for pregnant women but for millions of people who rely on blood donations.
      Speaking exclusively to 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  , Dr Adalja, added that there are very real concerns over blood transfusions. He added: "There is also concern for the virus being transmitted via blood transfusion.
      "The UK is not home to 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  but still has to be prepared to identify and diagnose infected travelers. Getty Dr. Angela Rocha examines Ludmilla Hadassa Dias de Vasconcelos "The risk of contracting Zika via a blood transfusion was established via screening asymptomatic donors in 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  a few years ago and there has been at least one report of the virus being acquired in this manner. "The blood banking industry and regulatory agencies are rapidly developing donor guidance to minimize this risk." 

      Dr Adalja says any real vaccine offering could be at least 10 years off and British doctors have to be prepared for the real possibility that the virus could spread exponentially in the UK.
      He added: "Vaccine development is generally measured on the scale of years.
      Getty A health care employee examines blood infected with the Zika virus in a health centre in Caracas, Venezuela "However, there are a few extant 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  that may be able to reconfigured for Zika allowing the proceed to be accelerated but it will still be some time before vaccine is widely available. "It usually takes about a decade to fully commercialize a novel vaccine.
      "There are many new technologies that have been developed that may be able to accelerate the development and there are emergency use provisions facilitating human use earlier in clinical development than usual.
      "This acceleration will be dependent on how easy it is to devise a vaccine against Zika which will include deciding what part of the virus to target to stimulate protective immunity while not triggering autoimmune reactions, which may be an issue given the cases of 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  that have been linked to Zika. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva has declared an emergency "However, once the vaccine development, safety, efficacy, storage and dosing studies all take time so it is hard to put an exact timeline on to a novel vaccine."
      Five cases of Zika virus have been diagnosed in UK travellers as part of this outbreak.
      There has only been one additional case of Zika virus infection diagnosed in the UK to date.
      Getty David Henrique Ferreira, 5 months, who was born with microcephaly which is believed to be linked to Zika This case was diagnosed in 2014 following travel to the Cook Islands and is not part of the ongoing outbreak in 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and the Caribbean. Almost 1.4 million UK residents travelled to South and Central America and the Caribbean on average each year between 2010 and 2014.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
      In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.
      In response, CDC has issued 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Symptoms
      About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika). The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days but it can be found longer in some people. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Deaths are rare. Diagnosis
      The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika. See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found. If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled. Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya. Treatment
      No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections. Treat the symptoms: Get plenty of rest. Drink fluids to prevent dehydration. Take medicine such as acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain. Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage (bleeding). If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication. If you have Zika, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  for the first week of your illness. During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people. Prevention

        No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika). Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below). Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime. Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses. When 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  to countries where Zika virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes are found, take the following steps: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Use Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  insect repellents. All EPA-registered insect repellents are evaluated for effectiveness. Always follow the product label instructions Reapply insect repellent as directed. Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing. If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent. If you have a baby or child: Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age. Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs, or Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting. Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin. Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face. Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items. Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last. If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully. Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.
      If you have Zika, protect others from getting sick
      During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people. To help prevent others from getting sick, avoid mosquito bites during the first week of illness. Source: 
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    • Eric Ouellet

      Remerciez Jéhovah, louez son nom 
       
      Remerciez Jéhovah, louez son nom ;
      parmi les peuples, faites connaître ses actions grandioses !
      Chantez pour lui, chantez-lui des louanges,
      méditez sur tous ses actes prodigieux.
      Soyez fiers de son saint nom.
      Que le cœur de ceux qui recherchent Jéhovah se réjouisse.
      Recherchez Jéhovah et sa force.
      Cherchez constamment son visage.
      Souvenez-vous des actes prodigieux qu’il a accomplis,
      de ses miracles et des jugements qu’il a prononcés,
      vous, descendants de son serviteur Abraham,
      vous, fils de Jacob, ceux qu’il a choisis !
      Il est Jéhovah notre Dieu.
      Ses jugements s’appliquent sur toute la terre.
      Pour toujours, il se souvient de son alliance,
      pendant mille générations, de la promesse qu’il a faite,
      de l’alliance qu’il a conclue avec Abraham
      et du serment qu’il a fait à Isaac,
      serment qu’il a établi comme décret pour Jacob
      et comme alliance permanente pour Israël,
      en disant : « Je te donnerai le pays de Canaan ;
      ce sera ta part d’héritage. »
      C’était lorsqu’ils étaient en petit nombre,
      oui, peu nombreux, et qu’ils étaient étrangers dans le pays.
      Ils circulaient d’une nation à l’autre,
      d’un royaume vers un autre peuple.
      Il ne laissa aucun homme les opprimer;
      pour eux, il réprimanda des rois,
      en disant : « Ne touchez pas à mes oints
      et ne faites aucun mal à mes prophètes. »
      Il appela une famine sur le pays ;
      il les priva de pain.
      Il envoya en avant d’eux un homme,
      Joseph, qui fut vendu comme esclave.
      On lui lia les pieds par des entraves,
      on lui mit le cou dans les fers ;
      la déclaration de Jéhovah, c’est ce qui l’affina,
      jusqu’au moment où la parole de Dieu s’accomplit.
      Le roi ordonna de le libérer,
      le chef des peuples le relâcha.
      Il l’établit maître de son palais,
      chef sur tous ses biens,
      pour qu’il ait autorité sur ses princes comme il lui semblait bon
      et qu’il enseigne la sagesse aux aînés.
      Alors Israël vint en Égypte,
      et Jacob résida comme étranger au pays de Cham.
      Dieu rendit son peuple très fécond ;
      il le rendit plus fort que ses adversaires,
      dont il laissa le cœur changer pour qu’ils haïssent son peuple,
      pour qu’ils conspirent contre ses serviteurs.
      Il envoya son serviteur Moïse,
      et Aaron, qu’il avait choisi.
      Ils accomplirent ses signes parmi eux,
      ses miracles au pays de Cham.
      Il envoya l’obscurité, et le pays s’enténébra;
      ils ne se rebellèrent pas contre ses paroles.
      Il changea leurs eaux en sang
      et tua leurs poissons.
      Leur pays fut envahi de grenouilles,
      jusque dans les chambres royales.
      Il ordonna aux taons de les envahir
      et aux moustiques d’infester leurs territoires.
      Il changea leur pluie en grêle
      et envoya la foudre sur leur pays.
      Il frappa leurs vignes et leurs figuiers
      et brisa les arbres de leur territoire.
      Il ordonna que les criquets les envahissent,
      de jeunes criquets sans nombre.
      Ils dévorèrent toute la végétation du pays,
      et ils dévorèrent les produits du sol.
      Puis il abattit tout premier-né dans leur pays,
      le début de leur puissance procréatrice.
      Il fit sortir son peuple chargé d’argent et d’or;
      et parmi ses tribus, personne ne trébucha.
      Quand ils partirent, les Égyptiens se réjouirent,
      car la terreur qu’Israël inspirait s’était emparée d’eux.
      Il déploya un nuage pour dissimuler son peuple,
      et un feu pour l’éclairer la nuit.
      Ils demandèrent, et il fit venir des cailles ;
      il les rassasiait du pain du ciel.
      Il ouvrit un rocher, et les eaux coulèrent ;
      elles coulèrent dans le désert comme un fleuve.
      Car il se souvenait de la promesse sainte qu’il avait faite à son serviteur Abraham.
      Il fit donc sortir son peuple dans l’allégresse,
      ceux qu’il avait choisis, dans un cri de joie.
      Il leur donna les terres des nations ;
      ils héritèrent de ce que d’autres peuples avaient produit en peinant,
      afin qu’ils respectent ses décrets
      et obéissent à ses lois.
      Louez Yah !

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Nous ne pouvons rien cacher à Dieu, Droite est la vision de Justice de Jéhovah 
      Louez Yah !
      Remerciez Jéhovah, car il est bon ;
      son amour fidèle est éternel.
      Qui peut proclamer tous les actes puissants de Jéhovah
      ou annoncer toutes ses actions dignes de louanges ?
      Heureux ceux qui agissent avec droiture,
      qui se comportent toujours avec justice.
      Souviens-toi de moi, ô Jéhovah, quand tu accordes ta faveur à ton peuple.
      Occupe-toi de moi par tes actes sauveurs,
      pour que je savoure le bien que tu fais à ceux que tu as choisi ;
      Pour que je me réjouisse aux côtés de ta nation,
      pour que je te loue fièrement aux côtés de ton héritage.
      Nous avons péché, comme nos ancêtres;
      nous avons mal agi, nous nous sommes conduits méchamment.
      Nos ancêtres, en Égypte, ne comprirent pas le sens de tes œuvres prodigieuses.
      Ils ne se souvinrent pas de ton immense amour fidèle,
      et ils se rebellèrent près de la mer, la mer Rouge.
      Mais par égard pour son nom, il les sauva,
      afin de faire connaître sa puissance.
      Il réprimanda la mer Rouge, et elle s’assécha ;
      il les conduisit à travers ses profondeurs comme à travers un désert;
      il les sauva de la main de leur adversaire,
      il les racheta de la main de l’ennemi.
      Les eaux recouvrirent leurs adversaires ;
      aucun d’eux ne survécut.
      Alors ils eurent foi en sa promesse ;
      ils se mirent à chanter sa louange.
      Mais ils oublièrent vite ce qu’il avait fait ;
      ils n’attendirent pas son conseil.
      Ils cédèrent à leurs désirs égoïstes dans le désert;
      ils mirent Dieu à l’épreuve dans les solitudes.
      Il leur accorda ce qu’ils demandaient,
      mais il les frappa ensuite d’un mal qui les fit dépérir.
      Dans le camp, ils devinrent jaloux de Moïse
      et d’Aaron, le saint de Jéhovah.
      Alors la terre s’ouvrit et engloutit Dathan,
      et elle recouvrit ceux qui s’étaient rassemblés avec Abiram.
      Un feu flamba parmi leur groupe,
      une flamme consuma les méchants.
      Ils firent un veau en Horeb
      et se prosternèrent devant une statue en métal;
      ils échangèrent ma gloire
      contre la représentation d’un taureau, d’un mangeur d’herbe.
      Ils oublièrent Dieu, leur Sauveur,
      qui avait fait de grandes choses en Égypte,
      des œuvres prodigieuses au pays de Cham,
      des actes redoutables à la mer Rouge.
      Il allait ordonner leur anéantissement,
      mais Moïse, celui qu’il avait choisi, intercéda auprès de lui
      pour détourner sa colère destructrice.
      Puis ils méprisèrent le pays désirable ;
      ils n’eurent pas foi dans sa promesse.
      Ils n’arrêtèrent pas de grogner dans leurs tentes ;
      ils n’écoutèrent pas la voix de Jéhovah.
      Alors, levant la main, il jura
      de les faire tomber dans le désert,
      de faire tomber leurs descendants parmi les nations
      et de les disperser dans tous les pays.
      Puis ils prirent part au culte du Baal de Péor
      et mangèrent des sacrifices offerts aux morts.
      Ils provoquèrent sa colère par leurs actions,
      et un fléau éclata parmi eux.
      Mais Phinéas se leva pour intervenir,
      et le fléau s’arrêta.
      Et cela fut porté à son compte comme justice,
      de génération en génération, pour toujours.
      Ils provoquèrent sa colère aux eaux de Meriba,
      et, à cause d’eux, les choses tournèrent mal pour Moïse.
      Ils aigrirent son esprit,
      si bien qu’il parla avec ses lèvres sans réfléchir.
      Ils n’anéantirent pas les peuples,
      contrairement à l’ordre de Jéhovah.
      Mais ils se mêlèrent aux nations
      et adoptèrent leurs manières d’agir.
      Ils servirent leurs idoles,
      et celles-ci devinrent un piège pour eux.
      Ils sacrifièrent leurs fils
      et leurs filles aux démons.
      Ils firent couler le sang d’innocents,
      le sang de leurs propres fils et de leurs propres filles
      qu’ils sacrifiaient aux idoles de Canaan;
      et le pays fut profané par le sang versé.
      Par leurs œuvres, ils se rendirent impurs ;
      par leurs actes, ils pratiquèrent la prostitution spirituelle.
      Alors la colère de Jéhovah éclata contre son peuple,
      et il en vint à détester son héritage.
      Maintes fois il les livra aux nations,
      pour que ceux qui les haïssaient dominent sur eux.
      Leurs ennemis les opprimèrent,
      et ils furent soumis à leur pouvoir.
      Bien des fois il les secourut,
      mais ils se rebellaient et désobéissaient,
      et ils étaient abaissés à cause de leur faute.
      Cependant il voyait leur détresse
      et entendait leur appel à l’aide.
      Pour eux, il se souvenait de son alliance ;
      dans son grand amour fidèle, il avait pitié.
      Il éveillait envers eux la pitié
      de tous ceux qui les tenaient captifs.
      Sauve-nous, ô Jéhovah notre Dieu,
      et rassemble-nous du milieu des nations
      pour que nous puissions glorifier ton saint nom
      et te louer dans la joie.
      Que Jéhovah, le Dieu d’Israël, soit loué
      pour toute l’éternité.
      Et que tout le peuple dise : « Amen ! »
      Louez Yah !

      · 0 replies
    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Hello Eric merci pour tes sujets et partages. Bonne journée Michel
      12 SECRETS POUR MAINTENIR LA JOIE DANS l organisation de Jéhovah.pdf memoire_vivante56.pdf Un athée.pdf
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Que nos sacrifices de paix venant du coeur soit pur aux services de Dieu
      Le Lévitique a été écrit il y a 3 500 ans, mais Jéhovah l’a préservé pour nous instruire  (Rom. 15:4). Ce livre nous aide à comprendre ce que Jéhovah pense et ressent. Nous devrions donc nous y intéresser de près. En fait, nous pouvons tirer beaucoup de leçons de ce livre inspiré de Dieu. Examinons-en quatre.
      COMMENT OBTENIR L’APPROBATION DE JÉHOVAH
      Première leçon : nous devons avoir l’approbation de Jéhovah si nous voulons qu’il accepte nos sacrifices. Chaque année, le jour de la Réconciliation, la nation d’Israël se rassemblait et des sacrifices d’animaux étaient offerts. Ces sacrifices rappelaient aux Israélites qu’ils avaient besoin d’être purifiés de leurs péchés. Mais avant d’entrer dans le Très-Saint avec du sang provenant des sacrifices, le grand prêtre devait d’abord accomplir une autre tâche, une tâche dont l’objectif était bien plus important que le pardon des péchés de la nation.
      (Lire Lévitique 16:12, 13.) Imagine la scène : Nous sommes le jour de la Réconciliation. Le grand prêtre entre dans le tabernacle. C’est la première des trois fois où il va entrer dans le Très-Saint ce jour-là. Dans une main, il tient un récipient contenant de l’encens parfumé, et dans l’autre un récipient à feu en or rempli de braises. Il s’arrête un instant devant le rideau du Très-Saint. Puis, avec un profond respect, il entre et va se placer devant l’arche de l’Alliance. De façon figurée, il se trouve en présence de Jéhovah lui-même ! Puis il verse avec soin l’encens sacré sur les braises, et la pièce se remplit d’un parfum délicat. Plus tard, il va de nouveau entrer dans le Très-Saint avec du sang provenant des sacrifices pour le péché. Remarque qu’il brûle l’encens avant de présenter le sang des sacrifices pour le péché
      Qu’apprenons-nous de ce que le grand prêtre devait faire avec l’encens le jour de la Réconciliation ? La Bible montre que, pour Jéhovah, les prières de ses fidèles adorateurs sont comparables à de l’encens (Ps. 141:2 ; Rév. 5:8). Comme nous venons de le voir, c’était avec un profond respect que le grand prêtre apportait l’encens jusque devant l’arche de l’Alliance, qui symbolisait la présence de Jéhovah. De la même façon, quand nous nous approchons de Jéhovah par la prière, nous le faisons avec beaucoup de respect. Nous sommes très reconnaissants au Créateur de l’univers de nous permettre de nous approcher de lui comme un enfant le fait avec son père (Jacq. 4:8). Il accepte que nous soyons ses amis ! (Ps. 25:14). Nous apprécions tellement cet honneur que nous ne voudrions jamais le décevoir.
      Souviens-toi que le grand prêtre devait brûler l’encens avant de pouvoir offrir les sacrifices. Ainsi, il faisait le nécessaire pour avoir l’approbation de Dieu au moment où il les offrirait. Qu’est-ce que cela nous apprend au sujet de Jésus ? Avant de pouvoir offrir sa vie en sacrifice, il a fallu qu’il fasse quelque chose d’essentiel, dont l’objectif était bien plus important que le salut des humains. Qu’a-t-il dû faire ? Il a dû rester fidèle à Dieu et obéir à ses commandements durant toute sa vie sur terre, ce qui permettrait à Jéhovah d’accepter son sacrifice. En restant intègre, Jésus prouverait qu’accomplir la volonté de Jéhovah est la meilleure façon de vivre. Et il justifierait la souveraineté de son Père : il apporterait la preuve que sa façon de gouverner est bonne et juste.
      Durant sa vie sur la terre, Jésus a toujours obéi parfaitement aux normes de Jéhovah. Aucune tentation ni aucune épreuve, ni même la mort atroce qui l’attendait, n’a pu affaiblir son désir de défendre la façon de gouverner de son Père (Phil. 2:8). Dans l’épreuve, Jésus priait « avec des cris puissants et des larmes » (Héb. 5:7). Ses prières intenses venaient d’un cœur fidèle à Dieu, et elles renforçaient son désir de lui rester obéissant. Pour Jéhovah, les prières de Jésus étaient comme le parfum délicat de l’encens. Par sa façon de vivre, Jésus a grandement réjoui le cœur de son Père et a justifié sa souveraineté.
      Nous imiterons Jésus en faisant le maximum pour rester fidèles à Jéhovah et obéir à ses lois. Et dans l’épreuve, comme nous voulons lui plaire, nous le supplierons de nous aider. Nous montrerons alors que nous soutenons sa souveraineté. Nous savons qu’il ne répondra pas à nos prières si nous avons une conduite qu’il n’approuve pas. Cependant, si nous respectons ses normes, nous pouvons être sûrs que nos prières sincères seront pour lui comme de l’encens au parfum délicat. Nous pouvons également être certains que notre fidélité et notre obéissance réjouiront notre Père céleste (Prov. 27:11).
      NOUS SERVONS DIEU PAR RECONNAISSANCE ET PAR AMOUR
      Deuxième leçon : nous servons Jéhovah parce que nous éprouvons pour lui de la reconnaissance. Pour développer cette idée, parlons des sacrifices de paix, un autre aspect important du vrai culte dans l’ancien Israël. Dans le livre du Lévitique, nous apprenons qu’un Israélite pouvait offrir un sacrifice de paix « pour exprimer sa reconnaissance » à Dieu (Lév. 7:11-13, 16-18). Il offrait ce sacrifice, non pas parce qu’il était obligé de le faire, mais parce qu’il le voulait. Il s’agissait donc d’un sacrifice qu’une personne faisait volontairement parce qu’elle aimait son Dieu, Jéhovah. Cette personne ainsi que sa famille et les prêtres mangeaient ensuite la viande de l’animal sacrifié. Mais certaines parties de l’animal étaient réservées exclusivement à Jéhovah. Lesquelles ?
      Troisième leçon : par amour pour Jéhovah, nous lui donnons ce que nous avons de meilleur. Jéhovah considérait la graisse comme la meilleure partie de l’animal. Il a aussi fait savoir que d’autres parties de l’animal, comme les rognons, étaient particulièrement précieuses pour lui (lire Lévitique 3:6, 12, 14-16). Cela lui faisait donc très plaisir quand un Israélite lui offrait volontairement ces parties de l’animal et la graisse. Cet Israélite montrait qu’il désirait vraiment lui offrir le meilleur. De la même façon, Jésus a offert à Jéhovah ce qu’il avait de meilleur en le servant de toute son âme et par amour (Jean 14:31). Pour Jésus, faire la volonté de son Père était un plaisir ; il avait un amour profond pour la loi de Dieu (Ps. 40:8). Comme cela a dû réjouir Jéhovah de voir son Fils le servir avec autant d’enthousiasme !
      Comme ces sacrifices de paix, notre service pour Jéhovah est une façon de lui montrer ce que nous ressentons pour lui. Nous lui donnons ce que nous avons de meilleur, et nous le faisons parce que nous l’aimons de tout notre cœur. Comme cela doit le réjouir de voir des millions de personnes le servir avec plaisir parce qu’elles ont un profond amour pour lui et pour ses normes ! Cela nous réconforte de savoir que Jéhovah voit non seulement nos actions, mais aussi nos mobiles, et qu’il y accorde de la valeur. Par exemple, si tu es âgé et que tu ne peux plus en faire autant qu’avant, sois certain que Jéhovah comprend tes limites. Tu penses peut-être que tu n’as pas grand-chose à lui offrir. Mais lui, il voit que ton profond amour pour lui te pousse à faire ce que tu peux. Il accepte avec plaisir ce que tu as de mieux à lui donner.
      Que nous apprennent les sacrifices de paix ? Alors que le feu consumait les meilleures parties de l’animal, la fumée s’élevait vers le ciel et cela faisait très plaisir à Jéhovah. Tu peux donc être sûr que Jéhovah est vraiment content de toi quand tu fais tout ce que tu peux pour le servir (Col. 3:23). Imagine son sourire d’approbation. Il considère comme très précieux les efforts que tu fournis à son service, qu’ils soient grands ou petits, et il ne les oubliera jamais (Mat. 6:20 ; Héb. 6:10).
      JÉHOVAH BÉNIT SON ORGANISATION
      Quatrième leçon : Jéhovah bénit la partie terrestre de son organisation. Rappelle-toi ce qui est arrivé en 1512 avant notre ère, quand le tabernacle a été dressé au pied du mont Sinaï (Ex. 40:17). Moïse a présidé une cérémonie durant laquelle Aaron et ses fils ont été établis prêtres. La nation d’Israël s’était rassemblée pour voir les prêtres présenter leurs premiers sacrifices (Lév. 9:1-5). Comment Jéhovah a-t-il montré qu’il approuvait cette nouvelle prêtrise ? Alors qu’Aaron et Moïse bénissaient le peuple, Jéhovah a fait descendre du ciel un feu qui a complètement consumé le sacrifice sur l’autel (Lévitique 9:23,24)
      Dans quel objectif Jéhovah a-t-il provoqué ce spectacle impressionnant à la fin de la cérémonie durant laquelle Aaron a été établi grand prêtre ? Il voulait montrer par là qu’il soutenait pleinement la prêtrise aaronique. Et les Israélites ont clairement vu qu’elle avait son approbation. Ils avaient donc toutes les raisons de la soutenir eux aussi. Est-ce important pour nous de savoir cela ? Oui ! La prêtrise en Israël n’était qu’une « ombre » d’une prêtrise bien meilleure. Le Christ est le Grand Prêtre par excellence et 144 000 humains seront prêtres et rois à ses côtés au ciel (Héb. 4:14 ; 8:3-5 ; 10:1).
      En 1919, Jésus a choisi un petit groupe de frères oints pour former l’« esclave fidèle et avisé ». Cet esclave dirige la prédication et donne aux disciples du Christ « leur nourriture au bon moment » (Mat. 24:45). Avons-nous des preuves que Dieu l’approuve
      Satan et son monde font tout ce qu’ils peuvent pour empêcher cet esclave d’assumer ses responsabilités, à tel point que, sans l’aide de Dieu, il n’y arriverait pas. Toutefois, malgré deux guerres mondiales, des persécutions incessantes, des crises économiques mondiales et des traitements injustes, il continue de fournir de la nourriture spirituelle aux disciples du Christ sur la terre. Pense à toute la nourriture spirituelle qui est aujourd’hui disponible gratuitement dans plus de 900 langues ! C’est une preuve incontestable du soutien de Dieu. Et voici une autre preuve encore : la prédication. La bonne nouvelle est prêchée « sur toute la terre » ! (Mat. 24:14). Il n’y a pas de doute, Jéhovah guide et bénit abondamment son organisation.
      Demandons-nous : « Suis-je reconnaissant à Dieu de pouvoir collaborer avec la partie terrestre de son organisation ? » Jéhovah nous donne des preuves qu’il la soutient, des preuves aussi convaincantes que le feu qui est descendu du ciel à l’époque de Moïse et d’Aaron. Nous avons de nombreuses raisons d’être reconnaissants à notre Dieu (1 Thess. 5:18, 19). Comment pouvons-nous soutenir l’organisation qu’il utilise ? En suivant les conseils basés sur la Bible qui nous sont donnés dans nos publications, aux réunions et aux assemblées, ainsi qu’en participant le plus possible à l’activité de prédication et d’enseignement (1 Cor. 15:58).
      Soyons déterminés à appliquer les leçons que nous avons tirées du livre du Lévitique. Cherchons à obtenir l’approbation de Jéhovah pour qu’il accepte nos sacrifices. Servons-le par reconnaissance. Continuons de lui donner par amour ce que nous avons de meilleur. Et soutenons de tout notre cœur l’organisation qu’il bénit. Nous lui montrerons alors que nous chérissons l’honneur de le servir et d’être ses Témoins !
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Soyons remplis de gratitude envers autrui 
       
      AVEZ-VOUS déjà reçu un petit mot de reconnaissance auquel vous ne vous attendiez pas ? Si c’est le cas, cela vous a certainement fait chaud au cœur. Après tout, il est naturel de vouloir être apprécié. — Matthieu 25:19-23.
      Toute expression de gratitude tend à renforcer les liens entre celui qui en est l’auteur et celui qui en est le destinataire. En outre, quiconque manifeste de la gratitude suit les traces de Jésus Christ, qui n’a jamais manqué de remarquer les belles œuvres des autres. — Marc 14:3-9 ; Luc 21:1-4.
      Malheureusement, exprimer sa gratitude, de vive voix ou par écrit, semble se faire de plus en plus rare. La Bible avait annoncé que, durant “ les derniers jours ”, les hommes seraient “ ingrats ”. (2 Timothée 3:1, 2.) Si nous n’y prenons pas garde, cette tendance si répandue aujourd’hui risque d’étouffer en nous tout sentiment de reconnaissance.
      Quelles mesures concrètes les parents peuvent-ils adopter pour enseigner à leurs enfants à manifester de la reconnaissance ? À qui devrions-nous exprimer notre gratitude ? Et pourquoi devrions-nous être reconnaissants, même si ceux qui nous entourent se révèlent ingrats ?
      Dans le cercle familial
      Les parents ne ménagent pas leurs efforts pour subvenir aux besoins de leurs enfants. Mais il leur arrive d’avoir le sentiment que ces efforts ne sont pas appréciés à leur juste valeur. Que faire pour remédier à cette situation ? Trois paramètres sont à prendre en compte.
      1) L’exemple. Comme cela se vérifie souvent en matière d’éducation, la réussite passe par l’exemple. La Bible disait jadis d’une Israélite travailleuse : “ Ses fils ont voulu la féliciter. ” Où ces enfants avaient-ils appris à exprimer leur reconnaissance ? La suite du verset nous éclaire : “ Son mari est le premier à la louer. ” (Proverbes 31:28, Bible des Peuples). Les parents qui s’expriment de la reconnaissance montrent à leurs enfants que ce genre de témoignage procure du plaisir à celui qui en est l’objet, améliore les relations familiales et constitue un signe de maturité.
      Stephen, un père de famille, déclare : “ Je me suis efforcé de donner l’exemple à mes enfants en remerciant ma femme pour le dîner. ” Qu’en est-il résulté ? “ Mes deux filles l’ont remarqué, et cela leur a fait prendre conscience de l’importance de se montrer reconnaissant ”, dit-il. Si vous êtes marié, remerciez-vous régulièrement votre conjoint pour les tâches quotidiennes qu’il accomplit et qui auraient vite fait de passer inaperçues ? Dites-vous merci à vos enfants, même lorsqu’ils font ce qu’on attend d’eux ?
      2) L’éducation. Le sentiment de reconnaissance est comme une fleur. Il a besoin d’être cultivé pour produire les meilleurs résultats possibles. Comment les parents peuvent-ils aider leurs enfants à cultiver et à exprimer de la reconnaissance ? Le sage roi Salomon a mis en évidence un principe clé lorsqu’il a écrit : “ Le cœur du juste médite pour répondre. ” — Proverbes 15:28.
      Pouvez-vous apprendre à vos enfants à songer aux efforts et à la générosité qui ont précédé chaque cadeau qu’ils reçoivent ? Ce genre de réflexion constitue le sol dans lequel la gratitude s’enracine. Maria, qui a élevé trois enfants, constate : “ Cela prend du temps d’expliquer à ses enfants tout ce que signifie recevoir un cadeau : qu’une personne a pensé à eux en particulier et qu’elle a souhaité leur montrer à quel point elle s’intéresse à eux. Mais je suis convaincue que ça en vaut la peine. ” Grâce à de tels échanges, les enfants apprennent non seulement quoi dire pour exprimer leur reconnaissance, mais aussi pourquoi ils doivent le faire.
      Il est sage, pour des parents, de faire en sorte que leurs enfants n’aient pas le sentiment que tout ce qu’ils reçoivent de bon leur revient, finalement, de droit. L’avertissement figurant en Proverbes 29:21 à propos de la manière de traiter son serviteur s’applique tout autant aux enfants : “ Si l’on gâte son serviteur dès sa jeunesse, par la suite dans sa vie il deviendra un ingrat. ”
      Comment aider de très jeunes enfants à témoigner de la reconnaissance ? Linda, mère de trois enfants, explique : “ Mon mari et moi avons encouragé nos enfants à s’associer à nous quand nous écrivions des cartes de remerciement, en y joignant un dessin ou en les signant. ” Naturellement, le dessin sera peut-être simple, et l’écriture approximative, mais la leçon que les enfants tireront de ce geste restera gravée en eux.
      3) La persévérance. Nous avons tous une tendance innée à l’égoïsme, qui risque d’étouffer en nous tout élan de gratitude (Genèse 8:21 ; Matthieu 15:19). Mais la Bible adresse aux serviteurs de Dieu cette exhortation : “ Vous devez être renouvelés dans la force qui anime votre intelligence et revêtir la personnalité nouvelle qui a été créée selon la volonté de Dieu. ” — Éphésiens 4:23, 24.
      Les parents expérimentés savent, toutefois, qu’aider les enfants à “ revêtir la personnalité nouvelle ” est plus facile à dire qu’à faire. Stephen, cité plus haut, déclare : “ Il nous semblait que nos filles mettaient du temps à dire spontanément merci, sans qu’on ait besoin de le leur rappeler. ” Mais lui et sa femme n’ont pas abandonné. “ Notre persévérance a payé, poursuit Stephen : nos filles ont retenu la leçon. Aujourd’hui, nous sommes fiers de la manière dont elles manifestent leur gratitude aux autres. ”
      Envers les amis et le prochain
      Lorsque nous oublions de dire merci, ce n’est pas forcément par manque de reconnaissance, mais parfois simplement par négligence. En définitive, du moment que nous éprouvons de la gratitude, est-il si important que cela de l’exprimer ? Pour répondre à cette question, considérons ce qui s’est passé un jour où Jésus a guéri des lépreux.
      Alors qu’il se rendait à Jérusalem, Jésus a rencontré dix hommes atteints de lèpre. La Bible relate : “ Ils élevèrent la voix et dirent : ‘ Jésus, Instructeur, aie pitié de nous ! ’ Et lorsqu’il les vit, il leur dit : ‘ Allez vous montrer aux prêtres. ’ Or, comme ils s’en allaient, leur purification eut lieu. L’un d’eux, quand il vit qu’il était guéri, revint sur ses pas, glorifiant Dieu d’une voix forte. Et il tomba sur sa face aux pieds de Jésus, en le remerciant ; or, c’était un Samaritain. ” — Luc 17:11-16.
      Jésus n’a-t-il accordé aucune importance au fait que les autres n’aient pas exprimé de gratitude ? Le récit poursuit : “ En réponse Jésus dit : ‘ Les dix ont été purifiés, n’est-ce pas ? Où sont donc les neuf autres ? Ne s’est-il trouvé personne pour revenir rendre gloire à Dieu, que cet homme d’une autre nation ? ’ ” — Luc 17:17, 18.
      Les neuf autres lépreux n’étaient pas des hommes méchants. Auparavant, ils avaient ouvertement exprimé leur foi en Jésus et avaient suivi de bon gré ses instructions, qui exigeaient qu’ils se rendent à Jérusalem pour se montrer aux prêtres. Or, même s’ils ont indéniablement éprouvé une profonde gratitude pour ce que Jésus avait fait, ils ne la lui ont pas exprimée. Leur comportement a déçu Christ. Et nous ? Quand quelqu’un se montre bon à notre égard, sommes-nous prompts à dire merci et, si cela s’y prête, à lui montrer notre reconnaissance en lui envoyant une petite carte ?
      La Bible dit que l’amour “ ne fait rien d’inconvenant. Il ne cherche pas son propre intérêt ”. (1 Corinthiens 13:5, Bible du Semeur.) Par conséquent, un témoignage de reconnaissance donné avec sincérité non seulement traduit un respect des convenances, mais aussi est une preuve d’amour. Comme nous l’apprend l’exemple des lépreux, ceux qui souhaitent plaire à Christ doivent exprimer un tel amour et une telle reconnaissance à tous, indépendamment de leur nationalité, de leur race ou de leur religion.
      Posez-vous la question : ‘ Quand ai-je pour la dernière fois remercié un voisin, un collègue de travail, un camarade de classe, un membre du personnel hospitalier, un commerçant ou qui que ce soit d’autre qui me soit venu en aide ? ’ Pourquoi ne pas noter pendant un jour ou deux le nombre de fois où vous dites effectivement merci ou exprimez votre reconnaissance d’une façon ou d’une autre  ? Peut-être verrez-vous la nécessité de vous améliorer dans certains domaines.
      Bien entendu, celui qui mérite le plus de remerciements de notre part, c’est Jéhovah Dieu. De lui vient “ tout beau don et tout présent parfait ”. (Jacques 1:17.) À quand remonte la dernière fois où vous avez sincèrement remercié Dieu pour avoir fait quelque chose de particulier en votre faveur ? — 1 Thessaloniciens 5:17, 18.
      Pourquoi se montrer reconnaissant même quand les autres sont ingrats ?
      Nos témoignages de reconnaissance ne seront pas forcément payés de retour. Par conséquent, pourquoi manifester notre gratitude si nous sommes les seuls à le faire ? Arrêtons-nous simplement sur une bonne raison d’agir ainsi.
      Faire du bien à ceux qui ne sont pas enclins à la gratitude, c’est imiter notre Créateur bienveillant, Jéhovah Dieu. Que beaucoup ne soient pas sensibles à l’amour que Jéhovah leur témoigne ne l’empêche pas de leur faire du bien (Romains 5:8 ; 1 Jean 4:9, 10). Il fait “ lever son soleil sur les méchants et sur les bons et [...] fait pleuvoir sur les justes et sur les injustes ”. Si, bien que vivant dans un monde ingrat, nous nous efforçons d’éprouver et d’exprimer de la gratitude, nous nous montrerons “ fils de [notre] Père qui est dans les cieux ”. — Matthieu 5:45.

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