Breakthrough: Huge discovery made on Zika virus

Breakthrough: Huge discovery made on Zika virus

The discovery could provide groundbreaking new insights into how the virus spreads.

An alarming new study indicates that there may be other person-to-person transmission routes for the Zika virus as authorities try to get a handle on its spread.

A research team from Brazil’s Fiocruz Institute have isolated a live virus in the urine and salive of an ill patient in Rio de Janeiro, according to a University of Minnesota report.

The live virus was found in two samples from different patients, one from the urine and the other from the saliva. The urine viral loads tended to be higher than the saliva.

Researchers aren’t quite sure how important it is that both body fluids can be a transmission route, and the subject will need more study, the authors say.

Additionally, the report indicated that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had announced two efforts to find a vaccine for Zika.

HHS announced a few days ago that it would help Brazil boost its capacity to produce a Zika virus vaccine by providing funding along with the World Health Organization and other international partners. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will provide $3 million through a partnership agreement with the WHO.

“The threat posed by Zika presents an urgent need for vaccines and diagnostics,” said Dr. Richard Hatchett, acting BARDA director. “To meet that need as quickly as possible, we need to leverage the infrastructure, experience, and expertise available within BARDA, other federal agencies, industry, and academia.”

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