Fu­el pri­ces go up 25 cents Zi­ka may cau­se men’s testi­cles to shrink

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

Re­ports in­di­ca­te that the fu­el pri­ces went up on Tues­day af­ter ha­ving remai­ned at the sa­me le­vel for se­ve­r­al months. Gaso­li­ne and die­sel cur­rent­ly cost 25 cents mo­re. Gaso­li­ne costs SRD 5.15 and die­sel costs SRD 4.70. The Mi­ni­stry of Tra­de and In­du­stry (HI) is­sued a press re­lea­se, in­di­ca­ting that it was ne­ces­sa­ry to rai­se the fu­el pri­ces be­cau­se of the fluc­tu­a­ting pri­ce of fu­el on the world mar­ket. Of­fi­ci­als from the Or­ga­ni­za­ti­on of the Pe­tro­le­um Ex­por­ting Coun­tries (OPEC) and non-mem­ber pro­du­cers met in Vi­en­na on Sa­tur­day, but did not co­me to spe­ci­fic terms, agree­ing on­ly to meet again be­fo­re a sche­du­led re­gu­lar OPEC mee­ting on Nov. 30. On Fri­day, talks in Vi­en­na bet­ween OPEC mem­bers sput­te­red fol­lo­wing ob­jec­ti­ons from Iran, which has been re­luct­ant to even free­ze its out­put, sour­ces said. USA – Zi­ka in­fec­ti­on could cau­se las­ting in­fer­ti­li­ty and lead to men’s testi­cles shrin­king, me­di­cal re­searchers warn.

Doc­tors warn that if the ‘dra­ma­tic’ fin­dings, in mi­ce, ap­ply to hu­mans it could lead to an epi­de­mic of in­fer­ti­li­ty cau­sed by the di­sea­se.

It is not yet known whe­ther the 90 per cent shrin­ka­ge in mi­ce would ap­ply to hu­mans – but doc­tors be­lie­ve at the very least the vi­rus is li­ke­ly to re­du­ce sperm counts and tes­tos­te­ro­ne le­vels in af­fec­ted men. The vi­rus is al­rea­dy known to leads to shrun­ken heads in ba­bies who­se mo­thers catch the in­fec­ti­on, which is car­ried in tro­pi­cal coun­tries and has re­cent­ly been found in the tou­rist hot­s­pot of Flo­ri­da.

The vi­rus has the unu­su­al abi­li­ty to cross the bar­ri­er that se­pa­ra­tes the ma­le re­pro­duc­ti­ve or­gans from the blood stream. Mi­chael Dia­mond, of Was­hing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty School of Me­di­ci­ne said: ‘We un­der­took this stu­dy to un­der­stand the con­se­quen­ces of Zi­ka vi­rus in­fec­ti­on in ma­les. ‘Whi­le our stu­dy was in mi­ce -and with the ca­veat that we don’t yet know whe­ther Zi­ka has the sa­me ef­fect in men – it does sug­gest that men might fa­ce low tes­tos­te­ro­ne le­vels and low sperm counts af­ter Zi­ka in­fec­ti­on, af­fec­ting their in­fer­ti­li­ty.’ The vi­rus was al­rea­dy known to per­sist in se­men for months – but it was not known what im­pact this could ha­ve on an in­fec­ted man.

Pro­fes­sor Dia­mond and col­lea­gues in­fec­ted mi­ce with Zi­ka. Af­ter two weeks the testi­cles had shrun­ken sig­ni­fi­cantly, their ‘in­ter­nal struc­tu­re col­lapsing’ with ma­ny dead or dying cells, the re­searchers said. And af­ter three weeks, the mi­ce’s testi­cles had shrunk to a tenth of their nor­mal si­ze. Their testi­cles did not he­al even af­ter six weeks, when the vi­rus had clea­red from their bo­dies.

Pro­fes­sor Dia­mond said: ‘We don’t know for cer­tain if the da­ma­ge is ir­re­ver­si­ble, but I ex­pect so, be­cau­se the cells that hold the in­ter­nal struc­tu­re in pla­ce ha­ve been in­fec­ted and de­st­roy­ed.’

The Zi­ka vi­rus was found to at­tack Ser­to­li cells, which do not re­ge­ne­ra­te, and which nou­rish gro­wing sperm cells.

(dai­ly­mail.co.uk)

Nan­cy Tri­nidad lis­tens to the ex­pla­na­ti­on of a doc­tor about how to pre­vent Zi­ka, Den­gue and Chi­kun­gu­nya vi­ruses at a pu­blic hos­pi­tal in San Ju­an, Pu­er­to Ri­co. (Pho­to: Reu­ters)

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