12:22 GMT23 January 2021
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    Russia plans to hold clinical trials of drugs for the treatment of Zika virus in the near future, Russian Healthcare Minister Veronika Skvortsova told journalists.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The most recent Ebola outbreak started in December 2013 in Guinea and later spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. The virus has claimed the lives of over 11,000 people, according to estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO).

    "We have finished pre-clinical studies of drugs for the treatment of the Zika infection that affects people, with very good results. Currently we are planning holding clinical trials," Skvortsova said on Thursday, after a special session at the UN General Assembly.

    The healthcare minister added that Russia also plans to test new Ebola treatments by the end of the summer.

    "By the end of the summer we will have a sufficient amount of the drug…we will repeat the testing on monkeys. If we get an equally successful result, we will assume that the drug is ready for clinical trials," Skvortsova said.

    The current Zika outbreak started in Brazil in the spring of 2015 and has since spread across Latin America and the Caribbean. Cases have also been reported in several European countries and Asia.

    The Zika virus is transmitted by daytime-active mosquitoes. It does not cause serious complications in adults but is suspected to cause severe brain defects and microcephaly in newborns.

    In May, Russian Deputy Health Minister Sergei Krayevoi announced that Russia had developed a test system to diagnose the Zika virus.


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