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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of April 30, 2017

MAY 06, 2017 | DANIELLE MROZ

#1: New Compound May Block Zika Virus Replication as Puerto Rico Faces Heat on Misreporting Cases

Scientists from the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at Oregon Health and Science University have found a molecule that blocks the replication of the Zika virus within human cells. The molecule, AV-C, not only “controlled the replication of an arbovirus in human fibroblast cells after 6 hours of initial infection,” but it also, “establishes a cellular state antagonistic to replication.” According to the authors, AV-C may be used to improve the efficacy of vaccines against arboviruses, such as Dengue.
 
Interestingly, although AV-C “was able to block Zika virus replication even after 16 hours of initial infection with the virus, it did not affect replication of Chikungunya virus, after just 2 hours of initial infection.”
 
On the heel of this new discovery, major media outlets have been reporting a discovery of a different kind. It is widely known that the Zika virus was widespread throughout Puerto Rico for most of 2016; however, major news outlets are reporting that they have evidence that the devastation may in fact be much worse than previously reported. According to, STAT, they have obtained a document which “details a ‘feud’ between health officials in Puerto Rico and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding Zika surveillance in pregnant women on the island.” The news outlet goes on to detail that the outbreak has been diminished for more than 6 months and that monies provided to the Puerto Rico Department of Health (DOH) spurned non-responsiveness between the DOH and the CDC.
 
As the weather warms in much of the Northern Hemisphere, mosquito-season is underway and so much effort is being made to control populations of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus.
 
Read more about AV-C and the potential misreporting of Zika cases in Puerto Rico, here.
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