A group of scientist working on a vaccine for Zika reported a vaccine that successfully protected mice from contracting Zika. This is a big step toward producing a vaccine that is safe and effective for humans.
Texas, which had 6 cases of Zika transmission within the state in 2016 is issuing new guidelines for Zika testing. Zika symptoms are similar to other viral infections. People presenting with 3 of these 4 symptoms: rash, fever, redness in the eye, and joint pain are asked to get a Zika test. This is to help public health officials track the spread of Zika in the state and direct control measures.
For six counties near the Rio Grande River where Zika transmission occurred in 2016, the state would like anyone with 2 of the 4 symptoms to be tested. Additionally, pregnant women in those area are to be tested for Zika virus. Transmission increases during the warmer weather of the spring and summer mosquito season. Texas reported an infant death from microcephaly in 2016. The case was travel related, but officials warn people to take precautions against mosquito bites.
As with many public health programs access to medical services for all people living in the area is critical.