Developing a vaccine to protect women



Scientists in the UK have started work on developing a vaccine to protect women against the Zika virus.

The £4.7m project, involving the universities of Manchester and Liverpool, and Public Health England, aims to have trials on humans up and running within the next three years.

The news comes two and a half years after the Zika virus, which can lead to foetal abnormalities, began to appear in Brazil.

When cases of babies born with abnormally small heads were first reported in late 2015, Brazilians were frightened and bewildered. Few had heard of the rare birth defect microcephaly, or were aware that it restricts growth of the skull and can cause learning, cognitive and motor difficulties. Nor did scientists know why cases were concentrated in Brazil’s impoverished, dry north-east. Two and a half years later, they still don’t.

The Brazilian government quickly blamed Zika – an obscure, mosquito-borne…

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