19 Apr Scientists at Scripps Work to Find Cure for Zika
Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida has begun to search for a Zika virus cure. As of April 6th, the Centers for Disease Control state that there are 78 reported cases of Zika in Florida. The state has the most cases of the virus in the country, urging the researchers at Scripps to take action.
While the virus was discovered decades ago, there is little in the way of funding or research on it. This is because the disease was previously not widespread, with cases being quite uncommon. Additionally, the medical community wasn’t fully aware of how dangerous Zika is to unborn children. Our understanding of the virus is lacking, and researchers find themselves perplexed by Zika’s ability to penetrate a mother’s placenta and harm her unborn child—a feat of which not many viruses are capable.
The lack of funding also presents serious issues. Research for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s are funded by a long history of federal grants and private donors. However, because Zika has spiked so rapidly and recently, the funds to research it simply don’t exist yet. Scripps is undertaking this endeavor with its own resources, though it hopes to eventually gain federal funding.
Despite the odds, Scripps Research Institute remains optimistic about their ambitious endeavor to find a cure. The institute has done successful research on many other mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile and yellow fever. Though it will likely be several years before Scripps makes any progress on a cure, its researchers remain dedicated and hopeful.
In the meantime, individuals are encouraged to take measures to protect themselves and prevent mosquito bites. For information on a variety of ways to keep mosquitoes at bay check out our twitter. We update daily with developments and methods in defending yourself against insects.