Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 and spread outside of Africa in 2007. Zika infections most commonly spread by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus and in some cases, infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
Zika can cause fever, rash, joint pain and redness in the whites of the eye, however, the majority of people infected with the virus exhibit no symptoms. In rare cases, Zika has been linked with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rapid onset of muscle weakness caused by the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system, which can progress to paralysis. The virus can spread from mother to a child in the womb and may lead to birth defects in the infant, including microcephaly.
In January, 2016, the CDC issued a travel alert advising pregnant women to consider avoiding travel to countries and territories with ongoing local transmission of Zika virus including most of Central and South America, Mexico, many parts of the Caribbean and several Pacific Islands. Many health professionals describe Zika as “a pandemic in progress”. At present, no vaccine or drug exists to either prevent or treat Zika.
Etubics is researching and developing our Adenovirus vaccine to prevent Zika infection.