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Although nobody is panicking over the Zika virus this year, researchers are still studying how the disease behaves in the human body. There is still much that scientists do not know about the virus. In fact, researchers are not able to answer some of the most basic questions concerning Zika. For example, why are humans vulnerable to the virus? This may seem like an unimportant question, but the more researchers learn about how Zika attacks the human body, the greater the chances of developing a Zika vaccine.

Numerous academics from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso are set to receive a forty two thousand dollar grant to pay for Zika research. The grant is being donated by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease so that researchers can focus on learning more about why human beings are so susceptible to the Zika virus. According to Peter Rotwein, vice president for research at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, experts are still not sure as to why the Zika virus causes the particular physical symptoms that it does. Additionally, the researchers plan on devoting much of their time to researching how the Zika virus causes microcephaly in newborn infants, and why the virus is able to be transmitted sexually. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the Zika virus has infected three hundred and eleven people so far this year.

For some reason, Zika carrying mosquitoes have a difficult time surviving in the hot climate in El Paso. Researchers are excited to learn why that is the case. Perhaps this research will lead to more effective mosquito control methods. So far, researchers are at a loss to explain why the Zika virus only attacks certain cells within the human body. Researchers are confident that they can pinpoint the genes that are hijacked by the virus, as well as the genes that can successfully avoid succumbing to the virus. According to the researchers that will be involved with the study, future generations will be able to avoid devastating Zika epidemics as a result of the upcoming study.

Do you believe that the Zika virus is the most important insect-borne disease to be studying today?

 

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