Zika striking women at higher rates than men: U.S. study

woman near Zika poster

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Adult women in Puerto Rico were significantly more likely to develop Zika than men, researchers said on Thursday, raising new questions about the potential role of sexual transmission of the virus from males to females.

The study, published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report on death and disease, evaluated more than 29,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika since the outbreak began in Puerto Rico in November 2015.

The data show that of all Zika cases with laboratory evidence of infection, 62 percent were female. The results pattern similar observations from Brazil and El Salvador, the authors said.

One obvious explanation might be that pregnant women are more likely than men to seek treatment for Zika because of the potential risk of birth defects.

To account for that, the researchers excluded all pregnant women who tested positive for the virus. Of the remaining 28,219 non-pregnant women and men testing positive for Zika, 61 percent of these cases occurred in women over the age of 20.

The Zika findings differ from prior outbreaks in Puerto Rico of arboviruses transmitted by the same mosquitoes as Zika. For example, in the 2010 dengue outbreak and the 2014 chikungunya outbreak, infections were equally distributed among men and women.

“It is possible that male-to-female sexual transmission is a contributing factor to this skewing of the burden of disease toward women,” the CDC said in a statement summarizing the findings.

However, the contribution of sexual transmission to overall Zika rates is just beginning to be explored, the CDC said. It could be that women are more likely than men to seek care if they are sick, or that women are more likely to develop Zika symptoms if they become infected.

The CDC is conducting blood tests of individuals living near people with confirmed Zika to try to answer some of these questions.

Zika infections in pregnant women have been shown to cause microcephaly – a severe birth defect in which the head and brain are undersized – as well as other brain abnormalities. The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last year in Brazil, which has since confirmed more than 2,000 cases of microcephaly.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Andrew Hay)

Study Showing Less Christians Could Be “Good News” For Church Says Moore

The President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention says that the Pew report showing a raise in people who claim no religious affiliation could be “good news” for the church.

Russell Moore focused on the “increasing strangeness” of Christianity.

“Christianity isn’t normal anymore. It never should have been. The increasing strangeness of Christianity might be bad news for America, but it’s good news for the church. The major newspapers are telling us today that Christianity is dying, according to this new study, but what is clear from this study is exactly the opposite: while mainline traditions plummet, evangelical churches are remaining remarkably steady,” Moore said in a statement.

Moore said that people are rejecting the forms of Christianity that throw away the truth of the Scriptures to fit in with the whims of the secular society.

“The churches that are thriving are the vibrant, countercultural congregations that aren’t afraid to not be seen as normal to the surrounding culture. This report actually leaves me hopeful. The Bible Belt may fall. So be it,” he continued.

“Christianity emerged from a Roman Empire hostile to the core to the idea of a crucified and resurrected Messiah. We’ve been on the wrong side of history since Rome, and it was enough to turn the world upside down.”

Moore said in a posting on his personal blog that he sees many people refusing to call themselves Christians because of society.

“In the Bible Belt of, say, the 1940s, there were people who didn’t, for example, divorce, even though they wanted out of their marriages. In many of these cases, the motive wasn’t obedience to Jesus’ command on marriage but instead because they knew that a divorce would marginalize them from their communities. In that sense, their ‘traditional family values’ were motivated by the same thing that motivated the religious leaders who rejected Jesus—fear of being ‘put out of the synagogue,'” Moore offered.

“Secularization in America means that we have fewer incognito atheists. Those who don’t believe can say so—and still find spouses, get jobs, volunteer with the PTA, and even run for office. This is good news because the kind of ‘Christianity’ that is a means to an end—even if that end is ‘traditional family values’—is what J. Gresham Machen rightly called ‘liberalism,’ and it is an entirely different religion from the apostolic faith handed down by Jesus Christ.”

Get Into The Word!

Ever since God opened up door for me to minister to others, I have said that there are 3 different types of people who read the Word.  There are the surface readers that simply, casually read it.  They don’t really get into it but they can basically follow along.

Then there are the second kind of people who really get into the Word, finding out more about the Word, the time periods, where Jesus actually walked etc.. This certainly can be a fun place to be!   But then there are a very special category of people.  These types of people are not satisfied with the mainline Christianity but want to dive into the supernatural realm. Continue reading

The Honor of Kings

In Proverbs 24:2 the Bible says “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter but the honor of kings to search out those things.”   Because of Christ we are all kings and queens of God. This ministry is about searching and understanding what is coming directly from the Bible.  From this understanding we are to prepare and teach others about His Word!  These past couple of months this ministry has had revelation and understanding coming to us at a rate that makes my head spin.  Thank you Jesus! Continue reading

History Repeats

History goes by in cycles and repeats itself.  In school I didn’t really care so much about history, and now it has become a little obsession of mine.  I am on this path of trying to learn everything about American history I possibly can.  It is my belief that God uses all of these things and the greater amount of history I know, the better I will be able to see what is coming again.  I have never viewed myself as a prophet but I do view myself as a watchman on the wall.  By studying the times and the dates and learning about our past, how it actually was, I am gaining understanding on how it is unfolding again.  Continue reading

The Law of First Mentioned (Pt. 1)

I love the deep mysteries of God.  Every time I find a new mystery being revealed within the Word, whether it’s in my own personal Bible study or from great speakers on a national stage, it does something in my spirit.  It is what I am all about.

In Proverbs 25:2 it is revealed that “It is the Glory of God that can seal a matter.”  He likes to hide things!   Think about that.  The God of the universe and it is His glory to conceal a matter!  But the 2nd part of that verse says, “It is the Honor of kings to search things out.” We are those kings! God likes to conceal things and it is to our glory and honor to reveal them.  Continue reading

Study Shows Men’s and Women’s Brains Biologically Operate Differently

A groundbreaking study has shown that the brains of men and women actually do operate differently.

The study from the University of Pennsylvania shows that men’s brains typically have connections that run from the front of the brain to the back on the same sides of the brain, where women’s brains have connections that run from side to side. The difference in the way the brain is “hardwired” occurs during adolescence.

The researchers say the physical differences in the brain could explain why men are generally better at tasks involving muscle control while women are better at verbal tasks such as remembering conversations.

“These maps show us a stark difference – and complementarity – in the architecture of the human brain that helps to provide a potential neural basis as to why men excel at certain tasks, and women at others,” Radiology professor Ragini Verma said in a statement. “What we’ve identified is that, when looked at in groups, there are connections in the brain that are hardwired differently in men and women. Functional tests have already shown that when they carry out certain tasks, men and women engage different parts of the brain.”

A separate study last month found that genes in the brain also showed significant genetic differences between the sexes.