AUTHOR: DAVID GONZALEZ
June 23, 2017
Zika vaccines are looming. In fact, three projects are in the works. ZPIV is one of two DNA vaccines and ZIKV is a purified inactivated vaccine.
Recently, government scientists from the U.S. Army and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have entered the second phase in developing an experimental DNA vaccine. The first phase included nonhuman primate testing and initial human testing that proved successful. The director of NIAID Anthony Fauci, M.D. is “pleased to report that [NIAID has] begun testing the Zika DNA vaccine,” and “expect[s] this study will yield valuable insight.” The study will test about 2,5000 healthy participants in the U.S. and South America living in areas of confirmed or potential active Zika infection. The trial is expected to conclude in 2019, but initial results might be presented at the end of this year.
Last year, World Health Organization declared that Zika is not a global “emergency,” but rather an ongoing threat like other flaviviruses (West Nile, yellow fever, dengue). Most cases are mild and conclude after seven days of flu-like symptoms. However, Zika can, in some cases, cause heart-related issues in adults and microcephaly in new born infants whose mothers are exposed to Zika during pregnancy. Zika spreads via mosquito bites and unprotected sex with an infected person.
The CDC has warned people living in or traveling to Brownsville, TX and Cameron County . Hidalgo and other counties would be wise to protect themselves against the virus by avoiding mosquito bites and practicing safer sex.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF:
Wear clothes that cover legs and arms.
Use insect repellent made with DEET, picaridin, or similar.
Treat clothes and gear with permethrin
Use condoms every time you have sex. Condoms are the only birth control method that protect against STDs, including Zika.
Beneficiaries of Medicaid, CHIP, CHIP-Perinate, Children with Special Health Care needs, and Healthy Texas Women between the ages of 10 and 45 or pregnant can visit participating pharmacies to pick up mosquito repellent for free. Texas Health and Human Services