Over 24,000 Zika Cases Confirmed in 2024

VLA1601 is a highly purified inactivated vaccine candidate against the Zika virus
WHO Zika case map June 3, 2024
Geneva (Precision Vaccinations News)

Ever since 1947, when the Zika virus was first detected, people have been getting infected with this disease. In 2024, both Zika outbreaks and the development of preventive vaccines have accelerated.

Autochthonous mosquito-borne transmission of Zika has been detected in 89 countries and territories globally. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), on June 3, 2024, the map of countries with Zika transmission and the list of countries with Zika and vectors has been updated to reflect changes since the last WHO epidemiologic update in 2022.

According to the WHO, there is scientific consensus that Zika is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Since 2013, 31 countries and territories have reported cases of microcephaly and other central nervous system malformations associated with ZIKV infection.

As of June 2024, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has confirmed 25,470 ZIka cases in the Americas in 2024. In 2023, the PAHO reported 55,813 Zika cases.

Over the past two years, Brazil (24,171) has accounted for about 90% of Zika cases recorded in the Americas.

In the United States, 16 Zika cases have been reported in the San Juan, Puerto Rico area in 2024. There were 43 Zika virus cases reported in 2023. 

From a prevention perspective, no Zika vaccine has been approved as of June 20, 2024. Since 2016, approximately $350 million of research funding for a Zika vaccine has been mobilized 

However, several Zika vaccine candidates are conducting clinical research.

For example, Valneva SE announced initiating a Phase 1 clinical trial to investigate the safety and immunogenicity of VLA1601, its second-generation adjuvanted inactivated vaccine candidate against the Zika virus (ZIKV).

The randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 1 trial, VLA1601-102, is planned to enroll approximately 150 participants aged 18 to 49 years in the U.S.

Juan Carlos Jaramillo, M.D., Valneva's Chief Medical Officer, said in a press release in March 2024, “Valneva'scommitment to our vision—to live in a world in which no one dies or suffers from a vaccine-preventable disease—fuels our pursuit for preparedness solutions against the Zika virus.

"As global temperatures rise and rainfall increases, the habitat for disease-carrying mosquitoes expands, presenting an ongoing public health challenge.”

Other Zika vaccine candidates are listed here.

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