MEDICAL: DISEASES: ZIKA VIRUS: Zika Virus Will Die Down, But Brace for Second Wave in a Decade or so, Doctors Say

 

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MEDICAL: DISEASES: ZIKA VIRUS:

Zika Virus Will Die Down, But Brace
for Second Wave in a Decade or so, Doctors Say

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Zika Virus Will Die Down, But Brace
for Second Wave in a Decade or so, Doctors Say

Race is on for a vaccine to halt current outbreak and head off next epidemic. Infection with the virus leads to immunity, which will slow down transmission over time

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 September, 2016, 11:03am

UPDATED : Saturday, 03 September, 2016, 11:03am

Jeanette Wang

South China Morning Post

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-beauty/article/2012927/ zika-virus-will-die-down-brace-second-wave-decade-or-so

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/zdqyjge

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The Zika epidemic will be around for the next three to five years and then disappear  but this wont be the last of it, according to leading scientists who spoke at the recent International Congress of Immunology in Melbourne.

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In 10 to 15 years, there will be a second wave, suggests Brazilian immunologist Professor Jorge Kalil, director of the Butantan Institute, Brazils largest producer of immunobiological products. So while efforts to develop a vaccine against the Zika virus may not reach fruition in time to benefit the current wave of infected people, it could still be beneficial in future.

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The predictions of Zikas burn out is based on mathematical models, explains Professor Cameron Simmons of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne. Analysing available data around Zika virus transmission, as well as what is known about dengue viruses  which are spread by the same vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquito  scientists are able to predict what Zikas trajectory might look like.

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In the next three to five years, such a large proportion of the susceptible population will be infected and immunised  when you get infected you become immune to the virus, Simmons says. Once a critical threshold of the population has been infected, the virus cannot find anyone new to infect, and so virus transmission collapses. What is required for significant transmission to occur again, is for the birth cohort to build up, so that the fraction of susceptible people increases over time.

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Kalil adds that because there is only one serotype of the Zika virus compared to four serotypes for dengue, it is unlikely Zika will stick around for many years like dengue.

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I think Ebola is same game, says Simmons. The epidemic in West Africa is finished, but its not stopping the development of vaccines because we know therell be a next time.

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To call the race for a Zika vaccine intense would be an understatement. All over the world, researchers are investigating various ways to inoculate against the virus. Kalil himself is involved in a few developments.

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One project works with inactivated vaccines, where the virus is produced, then killed and used to obtain antibodies that would neutralise the live virus. The advantage of such a vaccine is it usually does not take long to be approved by regulatory authorities, Kalil says. If we want to do something for females who will get pregnant in these few years, we have to be very quick, he says.

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Another type of vaccine that could progress very quickly with few safety issues is a DNA vaccine, which uses genetically engineered DNA to generate an appropriate immune response.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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MEDICAL: DISEASES: ZIKA VIRUS: Zika Virus Will Die Down, But Brace for Second Wave in a Decade or so, Doctors Say

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