Zika Infection May Give Future Immunity, Monkey Study Suggests

Zika Infection May Give Future Immunity, Monkey Study Suggests

It is recommended that women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to areas affected by the Zika virus.

“What we’ve shown in the monkey model matches a lot of what people have observed in epidemiological studies of humans”, says Emma Mohr, a pediatric infectious disease fellow at UW-Madison and first author on the study with Matthew Aliota and Dawn Dudley, research scientists in UW-Madison’s schools of Veterinary Medicine and Medicine and Public Health, respectively.

This month, the US Food and Drug Administration gave the go ahead for an experimental Zika vaccine, manufactured by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, to be tested on humans.

“I’m showing you Zika heaven”, said Hotez, the tropical medicine dean at Baylor College of Medicine. There are two reasons for this, researchers found: One is that pregnant women exhale more air than non-pregnant women, and mosquitoes may be attracted to the carbon dioxide in their breath.

Florida has its first baby born with Zika-related microcephaly.

In the ongoing crisis around Zika-linked birth defects, attention has been largely focused on infants born with too-small heads, or microcephaly. The rash itself won’t spread the virus; as far as we know, it’s only spread via placenta or semen.

“Our colleagues across the aisle have filibustered on a partisan basis a bipartisan bill that funded our anti-Zika efforts and also included measures to support our veterans”. The virus is known to cause invisible infections in most people who catch it – usually good news, but that’s bad for pregnant women who may not know anything is amiss until their babies start showing symptoms as they grow. The findings appear in Nature Communications.

The mother, a citizen of Haiti, contracted the virus and came to Florida to deliver her baby.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is studying 265 women infected with Zika during pregnancy in the U.S. – all of them travel-related so far.

Two studies of newborns in Zika-stricken Brazil yielded meagre clues Wednesday about the mysterious workings of the virus, and prompted researchers to call for better tests to identify brain-damaged babies.

Zika is typically transmitted via the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Some health experts are saying that the Zika virus is likely spreading through the local mosquito and human population in Texas, Arizona and California. Abstaining from unprotected sex can help prevent the spread of the virus.

The Senate’s vote Tuesday on a GOP-drafted measure was opposed by Democrats and failed on a 52-48 vote – short of the 60-vote, veto-proof majority required to advance it. Democrats faulted Republicans for packing the bill with provisions created to deny new funding for Planned Parenthood clinics in Puerto Rico.

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