Wow it is hard to keep up with the latest on Zika when there is so much happening so fast. Here’s the latest.
Researchers at Florida State University have been testing existing drugs that are FDA approved and drugs that are in the process of a clinical trial to try to find a treatment for Zika. Their reasoning is that these drugs could be available much quicker to the public than a drug that is newly developed and requires extensive clinical trials. And they made some big discoveries. They discovered that “existing drug compounds can both stop Zika from replicating in the body and from damaging the crucial fetal brain cells that lead to birth defects in newborns”1. One of the drugs that appears to block replication of the virus, currently used to treat tapeworm, is especially promising because it is already FDA approved, and pregnancy risk B (Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.2).
Zika in Florida
There are conflicting reports of how many locally acquired cases there are to date in Florida. The CDC website, last updated on 8/24 is stating 24 cases, while the article from Florida State University cites 49 locally acquired cases. And other sources, including CNN are stating 43 cases to date on 8/30. There are also concerns that with the tropical storms threatening Florida could create conditions that make it harder to contain the virus.