Zika Virus: Who in Biotech is Working to Stop its Spread?

04/02/2016 - 4 minutes

The Zika virus epidemic could infect up to 4 Million people. As a cousin to Dengue Fever, what are the risks? Who in the Biotech and pharma world are working on a vaccine? And what is exactly this virus which has everyone hot and bothered?

Literally meaning ‘overgrown‘ in the Luganda language, the Zika Virus name comes from the Zika Forest in Uganda. The virus was actually discovered in 1947, and since then, the virus has spread mostly in the southern hemisphere where the vector (mosquitoes) can survive.

So far, the Zika virus is transmitted by the female Aedes mosquito (since male mosquitoes are plant-feeding)Two species in particular are responsible for the epidemic: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (or Tiger mosquito).

Because of the transmission by mosquitoes, Zika is known as an Arbovirus (“Arthropod-Borne virus“), similar to the virus which causes Dengue Fever.

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