How Far Off Is A Cure Or Vaccine For Zika?



Experts are saying that Zika is an unprecedented threat, unlike anything we have ever faced before. But, it is important to understand that this is not a new threat. This virus, which recent studies have conclusively linked to microcephaly in unborn children at all stages of pregnancy, has been around since at least 1947 when it was first isolated in the Zika forest of Uganda. This is where the virus gets its name. What is "new" about this virus is that it now threatens the United States. And, this has caused quite a stir in Washington.
There is no division in our capital on whether or not Zika is a threat. Both sides of the aisle and the President himself agree that something has to be done. The big debate is where the money will come from to fund the research necessary to find a cure. We are a country burdened with debt, and priorities must be made. Setting these priorities can be a slippery slope.

Government agencies are working intently on a vaccine and there are 4 vaccines that look promising. These four vaccines are being pushed simultaneously because researchers don't know which one is going to work best. By next fall, there will be phase one trials to determine if these vaccines will be safe and whether or not they will generate an immune response. But experts stress that this process will take time and that large trials will need to be done. This requires financial support.

Currently, work is be done mostly by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) using discretionary funds, but President Obama has suggested that he wants to get rid of the appropriations process that NIH uses for funding each year and find ways to increase funding through mandatory means. The president and congress both agree that fighting viruses like Zika isn't just important for public safety, health issues also threaten our workforce and economy. But how these mandatory measures will be implemented is a complex discussion.

Experts say a cure or vaccine isn't likely to appear until early 2018 and that a focus must be placed on vector control in the meantime. Mosquito abatement is the first defense against any mosquito-borne virus. But, it is not something that the government can accomplish on its own. For mosquito abatement to be most effective, business and home owners need to get involved. Fewer mosquitoes means less chance that dangerous viruses like Zika can spread great distances. Abatement services reduce breeding sites, mosquito eggs, and adult mosquitoes that hide from the midday sun, and act as a buffer zone that breaks virus vectors.

While we wait for a vaccine, let's work together to reduce mosquito populations in Montgomery County and keep our families and our communities safe from Zika and other dangerous mosquito-borne viruses. Here at American Pest, we offer a mosquito abatement services that will get you started off in the right direction to knock down the amount of mosquitoes that you have to worry about. Give us a call today!

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