Warning over Zika virus outbreak as scientists say it could spread rapidly

Scientists have issued a warning after a study found that the Zika virus can 'easily mutate' into a dangerous and more transmissible variant.

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus and sparked a global emergency in 2016 after it resulted in birth defects of children in over 30 countries. 

The virus is able to infect a developing foetus, which could result in a condition known as microcephaly - resulting in babies being born with a small head and sometimes brain 

As the Daily Record reports, Studies conducted by the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in California looked further into the overlap between Zika virus and the dengue virus. 

Professor Surjan Shresta explained that the viruses are quick to mutate with one another, with researchers recreating infection cycles that switched back and forth between mosquito cells and mice.

In areas where Zika is prevalent, a vast majority of people have already been exposed to dengue virus.

The Zika variant that we identified had evolved to the point where the cross-protective immunity afforded by prior dengue infection was no longer effective in mice."

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