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Posté par Helper le 13/10/2021 à 21:12:34

TEXT: The Zika Virus

First discovered in Uganda’s Zika forest in 1947, the virus was long thought to be relatively benign, especially compared with deadly mosquito-borne diseases like malaria. But since its invasion in Brazil last year, the Zika virus has rushed through Latin America, likely infecting millions. It certainly has caused more than 1,000 confirmed cases of the birth defect microcephaly. Zika also appears to be
linked to neurological and autoimmune disorders like the paralyzing Guillain-Barré syndrome, and experts recently determined that it can also be transmitted through sex – a first case for a mosquito-borne disease. Some scientists suspect the virus has mutated and that’s why it can now cause neurological problems, while others say these tragic side effects may have gone unnoticed for years. “We wish we had more answers”, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom
Frieden. “Zika is a very challenging virus to fight and the response is enormously complex.” […]

There are no approved drugs or vaccines for Zika, mainly because scientists long assumed the virus was so benign that it wasn’t worth the resources required to investigate treatment. Zika has not been widely examined, and while some early research noted that the virus could infect brain cells, the connection between Zika and microcephaly – a severe neurological birth defect – is relatively new. Even now, many people who get infected will never know it, and if they start showing signs of
infection, such as a rash, red eyes, fever, or joint pain, doctors have little to offer other than advice to stay hydrated or take Tylenol as needed.

Vaccine development is under way at the National Institute of Health (NIH). Scientists are improving a vaccine that was initially developed for the West Nile virus and they expect to launch a safety trial for it in September. “The need for a drug is less pressing than the need for a vaccine”, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH. “Since Zika is an infection that in most people is usually gone within a few days, it may be tough to have a major impact with a drug as opposed to prevention, with a vaccine.”

Adapted from “A Next-Generation Threat” in Time, May 16, 2016, pp. 24-25.


GUIDED COMMENTARY (20 points)
1. According to the text, how can someone get Zika disease?
2. Basing on the text, give at least three symptoms of Zika.
3. Relying on the text, why didn’t scientists show interest in the research on Zika virus since 1947?
4. Referring to the text, why do researchers prefer developing vaccine instead of drug to fight Zika?
5. Suggest ways and means of fighting against mosquito-borne diseases.



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