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