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US health officials say Zika virus “scarier” than first thought

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The Zika virus is “scarier” than first thought and the mosquito that spreads it is currently present in around 30 US states, top American health officials say.

The virus is linked to broader set of complications with pregnancy, not just shrunken head or microcephaly, but also prematurity, blindness and other conditions, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

There was deep concern about Puerto Rico where they may be hundreds of thousands of cases, principal deputy director of the CDC Dr Anne Schuchat said.

She said there was hope there would not be broad transmission across the US mainland, but that authorities needed to be prepared.

“Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” Dr Schuchat said.

“And so while we absolutely hope we don’t see widespread local transmission in the continental US, we need the states to be ready for that.

“We can’t assume we’re not going to have a big problem.”

A request by President Barack Obama for nearly $US2 billion ($2.6 billion) in assistance to fight the virus has stalled in Congress.

Zika, linked to numerous cases of the birth defect micocephaly in Brazil, is spreading rapidly in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The White House said last week in the absence of the emergency funds it will redirect $US589 million ($775 million), mostly from money already provided by Congress to tackle the Ebola virus, to prepare for Zika before it begins to emerge in the continental US as the weather warms.

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HOTC sees remarkable success rate on kidney transplant

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HOTC sees remarkable success rate on kidney transplant

BHAKTAPUR — Shahid Dharmabhakta National Human Organ Transplant Centre (HOTC), Bhaktapur has successfully undertaken transplant of over 400 kidneys.

Hospital’s Executive Director Dr Pukar Chandra Shrestha, at a press conference organised here on Friday, informed that the Centre has so far successfully transplanted kidneys on 404 patients.

The Centre had initiated the kidney transplant service on January 19, 2013.

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The inflow of patients has alarmingly increased at the facility with the start of additional medical services such as urology, gastro surgery, cardio therapy, stone removal surgery along with other surgeries, besides kidney transplant, said Prof Dr Rakesh Verma.

However, the patients are compelled to wait for the transplant for long due to limited building space and availability of beds.

Right now, around 400 patients are waiting their turns for kidney transplant and more than this number are waiting to avail of dialysis service.

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