A new collaborative study from Stanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) and UC San Diego School of Medicine has found that Chloroquine, a medication used in the prevention and treatment of malaria, may also be effective for the Zika virus. Chloroquine has been around for a long time, is relatively inexpensive, and most importantly is safe to use during pregnancy. The researchers utilized pregnant mice, who were infected with the Zika virus, and found that Chloroquine reduced the amount of virus in the maternal blood and in the fetal brain cells. Even though the virus was not completely cleared, the drug reduced the viral load, suggesting it could limit the neurological damage in newborns who are infected by the virus. Additional studies are needed to determine Chlororquine’s effectiveness against the Zika virus in humans, but this is a step in the direction towards finding a possible cure.
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