Birmingham agency wins extension for Zika virus research

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The Birmingham-based Southern Research is expanding its work on the Zika virus.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the non-profit organization a contract extension worth $650,000 to expand a screening effort to include testing of the virus.

The goal of the work is to identify compounds that may serve as drug agents to combat Zika, which is transmitted by the bite of a tropical mosquito.

Zika is so mild in people that most who get it don’t even know they are sick.

But it is believed to cause serious birth defects if women are infected while pregnant. Health officials have been concerned mostly with helping women who are pregnant or about to become pregnant avoid the disease.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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