WHO, U.S. Officials Discuss Zika Diagnostics, Vaccine Development, Mosquito Control Measures

Bloomberg Business: Zika Fears Spur Pharmaceutical Gold Rush Amid Vaccine Vacuum
“…More than 15 companies have been in touch with the World Health Organization about developing vaccines, and about 20 are working on diagnostic tools, the global health agency said Friday…” (Spalding, 2/15).

Financial Times: Zika epidemic prompts pharma rush to develop vaccine
“…In update briefings in Geneva and Washington on Friday, senior officials from the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Institutes of Health contrasted the industry’s response to Zika with its slow reaction to previous epidemics, particularly Ebola…” (Cookson, 1/12).

New York Times: Zika Virus Test Is ‘Weeks, Not Years’ Away, WHO Says
“Scientists are ‘weeks, not years’ from developing a test for the fast-spreading Zika virus, but large-scale clinical trials for a potential vaccine are at least 18 months away, the World Health Organization announced on Friday…” (Chan, 1/12).

New York Times: Prepare for ‘Guerrilla Warfare’ With Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes, Experts Warn
“It was standing room only at the annual conference of the American Mosquito Control Association this week. … [T]his year an ominous urgency infused the session. Mosquitoes in this hemisphere have an unpredictable new weapon, the Zika virus — a threat that left the participants comparing notes like field commanders before summer battle…” (Tavernise, 2/12).

Reuters: Genes, bugs and radiation: WHO backs new weapons in Zika fight
“Countries battling the Zika virus should consider new ways to curb disease-carrying mosquitoes, including testing the release of genetically modified insects and bacteria that stop their eggs hatching, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday…” (Hirschler, 2/16).

USA TODAY: Commercial test for Zika virus could be available within weeks
“…An easy-to-use test would diagnose patients more quickly and help researchers monitor populations to determine whether the virus is spreading. That could speed up research, said Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director-general for health systems and innovation at the WHO…” (Szabo, 2/12).