It wasn’t too long ago that the emergence of the little-understood Zika virus in South and Central America led the US to recommend pregnant women avoid traveling to areas where it was spreading (a warning that remains in place). But it’s actually a familiar mosquito-borne disease that’s now prompting a much wider advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: yellow fever. Continue reading Traveling to Brazil? Get Vaccinated ASAP, Says CDC
New research that documents the devastating effects of Zika virus in early pregnancy shows just how destructive the disease can be to a growing fetus.
Finding a cure for viruses like Ebola, Zika, or even the flu is a challenging task. Viruses are vastly different from one another, and even the same strain of a virus can mutate and change–that’s why doctors give out a different flu vaccine each year. But a group of researchers at IBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore sought to understand what makes all viruses alike. Using that knowledge, they’ve come up with a macromolecule that may have the potential to treat multiple types of viruses and prevent them from infecting us. The work was published recently in the journal Macromolecules.
New cases of the Zika virus, which is linked to birth defects, have been confirmed in the United Kingdom, health officials said.
The leader of infectious disease research in the U.S. government says that the pandemic of Zika virus spreading across the global south, which may be causing an epidemic of birth defects in South America, heralds a new kind of infectious disease threat. It is exploding at the same time and in the same areas as other diseases carried by the same vector, mosquitoes—and thus demonstrates that it is no longer enough to be prepared to counter one disease at a time.