International

Obama calls for rapid research on Zika virus

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for the rapid development of tests, vaccines and treatments to fight the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects and could spread to the U.S. in warmer months.

U.S. health officials are stepping up efforts to study the link between Zika virus infections and birth defects, citing a recent study estimating the virus could reach regions where 60 per cent of the U.S. population lives.

Mr. Obama was briefed on the potential spread of the virus on Tuesday.

“The President emphasised the need to accelerate research efforts to make available better diagnostic tests, to develop vaccines and therapeutics, and to ensure that all Americans have information about the Zika virus and steps they can take to better protect themselves from infection,” the White House said in a statement.

The virus has been linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:08:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Obama-calls-for-rapid-research-on-Zika-virus/article14022842.ece

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