Zika virus is still very much a cause for concern, but experts are working hard at finding a solution to this problem before mosquito season strikes again this year. Continue reading to learn about some of the latest Zika virus breakthroughs that have been released recently.
One Step Closer to a Cure
A study that was published recently states that scientists at Indiana University have been making strides in finding new treatments that can combat the Zika virus. More specifically, scientists have been able to map a key protein in the cause of the virus. In fact, it is the protein that allows the virus to not only reproduce, but also spread.
The ability to map this protein means that researchers will be able to reproduce a component of the Zika virus in the lab. Doing so will allow them to analyze current drugs and compounds to quickly determine how they can disrupt Zika’s spread. Experts are already expecting that any drugs that are designed to fight Zika will end up involving this protein.
Prior Infections Make Zika Infection Worse
Another of the latest Zika virus breakthroughs has given scientists even more insight into how difficult it will be for them to find a solution to this problem. Patients that have been infected with West Nile virus or dengue in the past will likely deal with even more intense Zika symptoms if they become infected with it as well. Scientists used both mice and human samples for the tests that have helped them come to this conclusion, and the results have proven that experts will face a major challenge as they work on creating vaccines that can combat this virus.
More Insight into the Species That Spread Zika Virus
Understanding what species are able to spread the virus is yet another one of the latest Zika virus breakthroughs. Scientists now believe that the virus can be spread by more mosquito types than those that they currently know about. This is according to a predictive model that ecologists created at the University of Georgia and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Experts’ findings show that 26 more potential species, including seven within the continental United States, could be to blame for spreading Zika.
What all of this new research and all of these new breakthroughs about Zika virus prove, however, is that still more research needs to be done to fully understand the virus and combat it. Hopefully a treatment or vaccine can be found sooner rather than later.