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Researchers Investigate Potential Prevention Methods For Zika Virus, Including Vaccines, Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Bloomberg Business: For Those Threatened by Zika, Vaccines May Not Come Soon Enough
“Even if the world’s largest drugmakers were to mobilize as fast as they could, and even if the science were straightforward, it’s unlikely a Zika vaccine could be developed quickly enough to address the expanding outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus that may cause birth defects when pregnant women are infected…” (Koons/Gale, 1/31).

National Geographic: Can We Stop Mosquitoes From Infecting the World?
“…Disease outbreaks hitchhiking in the innards of mosquitoes, like the Zika virus currently racing across South and Central America, are likely to become increasingly frequent and far-reaching, public health experts say. Climate change, along with growing urbanization and the rise of international shipping and travel, will stretch the insects’ range and access to large human populations…” (Katz, 2/1).

New York Times: New Weapon to Fight Zika: The Mosquito
“…[These mosquitoes] have been genetically engineered to pass a lethal gene to their offspring, which die before they can reach adulthood. In small tests, this approach has lowered mosquito populations by 80 percent or more. … But the new efforts have yet to be proved, and it would take some years to scale them up to a meaningful level. An alternative to mosquito control, a vaccine against Zika, is not expected to be available soon…” (Pollack, 1/30).

New York Times: Vaccine for Zika Virus May Be Years Away, Disease Experts Warn
“…But even as a host of companies have announced plans to develop a vaccine, disease experts say it could be years — maybe as long as a decade — before an effective product makes its way to the public…” (Thomas, 1/29).

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