Geneva, Jan 30: In a breakthrough in medicine, it is said that a vaccine of Zika virus is being developed and is likely to be launched by the end of this year. The Zika virus, which is considered a distant cousin of Chikungunya and malaria, is related to several birth defects.
It is responsible for brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil. Showing symptoms of mild fever and rash, the disease has no proven vaccine or medicine.
This makes it very difficult for pregnant women to figure out whether they have been infected or not. Canadian scientist Gary Kobinger, who is part of the team that working on the vaccines has said that the first stage of testing on humans could begin as early as August. If that is successful, it could be applied during a public health emergency in October or November.
He said,"This vaccine is easy to produce. It could be cranked to very high levels in a really short time."
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said in Geneva that Zika is spreading explosively and could effect 4 million people in the Americas. Kobinger, who is the lead scientist on this project from Quebec City's Laval University and head of the special pathogens at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, is working with the University of Pennsylvania.