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SLU leading Zika research

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - With the upcoming Olympics in Brazil comes a lot of talk about the Zika virus. The National Institutes of Health has tapped researchers at St. Louis University to conduct a human clinical trial of a vaccine to prevent Zika.

Dr. Sarah George, an associate professor of infectious disease at SLU, visits us to talk about the trial. She says it is extremely important to begin research into a Zika vaccine. The virus is spread by aedes mosquitos, and can also be sexually transmitted.

The Zika virus in healthy adults will only cause minor illnesses, but it can cause serious birth defects in infected pregnant women.

The study will be conducted at two sites: SLU's Center for Vaccine Development and at a research site partnering with SLU in Puerto Rico.

The goal of the trial, set to begin this fall, is to make sure the vaccine is safe and then measure the immune response to Zika.

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