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If you’re pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, the rapid spread of the Zika virus is truly a frightening situation. Any newly formulated cure or vaccine would need to go through a lengthy approval process. Even fast-tracked, it could take years to find and approve a vaccine. In the meantime, the Zika virus — which just made the jump to Asia — could become a truly worldwide epidemic.
That’s why yesterday’s news is especially good: Researchers announced they have found a treatment for a Zika virus infection using existing drugs. As reported by Florida State University:
A team of researchers from Florida State University, Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health has found existing drug compounds that can both stop Zika from replicating in the body and from damaging the crucial fetal brain cells that lead to birth defects in newborns.
This is potentially huge — rather than having to wait years for a new drug to be approved, the process is now shortened to just testing to find a treatment regimen. The identified drug has already been tested and shows no danger to pregnant women.
If you’re pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, do not travel to areas with Zika. This news is an important first step, but it’s going to be a while before this drug is available for treatment. Better safe than sorry!
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
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