Zika Vaccine ‘100% Successful In Clinical Trials On Rats’

The Wistar Institute’s vaccine center study shows its Zika vaccine protects from infection, brain damage, and death.

Trials of a new Zika vaccine have been 100 percent successful in blocking the virus and its devastating side effects, a report reveals.

The global spread of the disease shows no sign of letting up, and efforts to control it have so far proved futile.

However, the first clinical trial to test Zika-susceptible animals has found that a synthetic DNA vaccine successfully protected the immune system and brain of lab rats in every case.

It is the most promising result of a Zika vaccine to date – and it is the same one being tested in the first human clinical trials.

None of the lab rats in the study in Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute contracted Zika after getting the vaccine.

Those that were infected before being vaccinated were protected from any kind of damage to the brain’s hippocampus and cerebral cortex – Zika’s targets.

‘Our results support the critical importance of immune responses for both preventing infection as well as ameliorating disease caused by the Zika virus,’ said lead researcher Dr David Weiner, director of The Wistar Institute’s vaccine center.   DailyMail

Florida Mosquitoes Being Tested For Zika

mosquitoA Miami woman, who has not traveled abroad, was diagnosed with the Zika virus last week.

Florida health officials have trapped mosquitoes to test them for Zika.  It comes a day after a woman was diagnosed with the virus in Miami despite not traveling abroad.

Officials fear this case could be the first to come directly from a mosquito bite in the continental United States. To date, 1,300 people have been diagnosed with Zika in America – none from local mosquito bites.

All came from mosquitoes in Central and South America, except for 14 which were sexually transmitted.  But officials have long warned that it would only be a matter of time before American mosquitoes became infected by biting a Zika patient.   DailyMail

Zika Virus Found In Saliva, Urine; Unclear If That Can Transmit Infection

From October 2015 to January 2016, there were almost 4,000 cases of babies born with microcephaly in Brazil. Before then, there were just 150 cases per year.

The suspected culprit is a mosquito-borne virus called Zika. Raw Story

mosquitoWhere did Zika come from?

Zika has a lot in common with dengue and chikungunya, another emergent virus. All three originated from West and central Africa and Southeast Asia, but have recently expanded their range to include much of the tropics and subtropics globally. And they are all spread by the same species of mosquitoes.

Until 2007 very few cases of Zika in humans were reported. Then an outbreak occurred on Yap Island of Micronesia, infecting approximately 75% of the population. Six years later, the virus appeared in French Polynesia, along with outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya viruses. Malaysian Insider

Zika has been identified in the saliva and urine of two patients infected by the virus, a leading Brazilian health institute said on Friday, adding that further studies are needed to determine if those fluids could transmit the infection.

Scientists at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a public health institute, said they used genetic testing to identify the virus in samples from two patients while they had symptoms and were known to have Zika, the mosquito-borne viral infection that has sparked a global health scare.

It is the first time the virus has been detected in saliva and urine, scientists told reporters in Rio de Janeiro. The virus was deemed active, meaning that it was able to cause infection, but the scientists stressed that it was too early to say whether Zika could be transmitted by either fluid.

“That fact that the virus was found with the capacity to cause infection is not proof that it can contaminate other people through those fluids,” said Myrna Bonaldo, one of the scientists who made the discovery. NYPost