Zika vaccine testing begins in humans.

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A clinical trial of a vaccine candidate intended to prevent Zika virus infection has been launched by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The early-stage study is designed to evaluate the experimental vaccine's safety and ability to generate an immune system response in participants. At least 80 healthy volunteers ages 18-35 at three study sites in the U.S., including the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., will be participating in the trial.

The study is part of the U.S. government response to the ongoing outbreak of Zika virus in the Americas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga., more than 50 countries and territories have active Zika virus transmission. In the U.S. and its territories, more than 6,400 Zika cases have been reported.

Although Zika infections usually are asymptomatic, some people experience mild illness lasting about a week. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal defects of the brain...

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