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Zika vaccines show promise, and Siberia’s anthrax outbreak is linked to climate change

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito is photographed on human skin in a lab in Cali, Colombia.
An Aedes Aegypti mosquito is photographed on human skin in a lab in Cali, Colombia.
Luis Rubayo/AFP/Getty Images

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Florida officials this week have confirmed the first cases of Zika transmission in the US.

As the disease spreads around the globe, scientists  have been hard at work to come up with a vaccine for the mosquito-borne virus.

A new study published on the website of the journal, Science, on Thursday, shows promise in the race for a Zika vaccine.

A research team from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, developed three experimental vaccines. The 16 monkey that were vaccinated did not contract the Zika virus.

Progress aside, researchers warn that it’d still take years for a vaccine to be available. Early trials are next, possibly slated for later this year.

Cases of Zika were first reported in Brazil in 2015. A different disease, one that is much older, has recently been affecting Siberia.

An anthrax outbreak has sickened a handful of people and caused one death. The culprit: a reindeer carcass infected with anthrax spores that has recently been thawed out by a heat wave in the region.

It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but many scientists have warned that the warming planet could resuscitate once dormant diseases.


Dan Barouch, M.D., an immunologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who co-led the Zika study

William Schaffner, MD., Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. He’s worked on a range of CDC advisory committees