Yale researchers identify possible drug to combat Zika

Researchers in southwestern Connecticut say they may have identified an existing drug to combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Researchers in southwestern Connecticut say they may have identified an existing drug to combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus. (8/25/16)

NEW HAVEN - Researchers in southwestern Connecticut say they may have identified an existing drug to combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

In a room barely larger than a closet, a Yale University team is on the cutting edge of Zika research - trying to find the root cause of it and why it causes microcephaly. Pregnant women infected with Zika often have babies with abnormally small heads and brains.

The team says it may have discovered a possible fix in the form of Sovaldi, a drug that currently treats hepatitis C. However, it has never been tested on pregnant women, so doctors do not yet know if it is a safe way to treat Zika.

Given the emergency-like nature of Zika, the Food and Drug Administration could fast-track the approval process if the treatment turns out to be safe. However, the Yale team stresses that their method is not a quick fix, but it could be a huge first step.

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