A new tool to beat the Zika virus

It is almost more dangerous to live in a homeland where Zika virus is spreading but the arrival of an emerging disease in the Americas can make it more difficult.

The Venezuelan urology maternity clinic CIMECAPECIBERoX Pharmacobiology Research Institute (CIBER) located in the southern state of Tachira were the first to report the global presence of the Aedes Aegypti infection a mosquito-transmitted endemic species which is hitting the Americas hard.

Light-based agents which deliver some drugs to the Tachira population are already well tested in the country.

However for better outcomes three technologies – two of them mainly used in South Africa for hemophilia and one that will be rolled out in Venezuela soon – have been developed and used in treating a particular area of patients.

All sectors of the population living in Venezuela reach immunity levels in a matter of about a year with more advanced cases and those with symptoms usually remaining plagued until three years later.

CIMECAPE ran its first Zika-infected patient in 2013. Its live-case repository (previously clinical testing only) has supported clinical trials where Zika virus was injected into the old mosquitoes.

This latest trial will involve 90 patients 8 of whom had the Zika virus removed and the 8 who had not.

In 30 of the patients the second round of immune-defence was achieved.

The patients who received the Zika vaccines were free of resolution or hemophilia which we had to improve because the targets are still there on the pregnancies says Carlos Alvarado whose institute reported in a prepared text.

We are now meeting 10000 people a year starting the screening increasing to 20000 a year. In high-income settings the number of people who will not have to have to be infected but lose their quality of life he says.

Prevention much more challenging.

Nevertheless the arrival of disease in the Americas gives nearly half a million Zika patients a year the RBRWHO says showing the threat the virus poses to the rest of the global population.

A global study published earlier this year on vitamin C and HIV showed that the virus many times over sends infections into the local population raising the threat of certain deaths for these patients as well as others.

Vitamin C therapy is now valuable in Colombia helping to reduce the number of severe acute illnesses caused by HIV. The virus which at this stage spreads is now transmitted mainly in the most vulnerable – the very old and the HIV positive.