Researchers believe medication may prevent Zika birth defects

Researchers at Florida State University say they may of have found several solutions for helping stop the spread of Zika.

“We found was a group of compounds that seemed to work pretty good at stopping the virus at infecting cell, specifically when the virus tries to copy itself or replicate,” Emily Lee, co-author of the Zika study said.

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One of the existing drugs is often used to treat tapeworm.  Researchers say the drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and has shown no danger to pregnant women in animal studies.

"What we're hoping is that eventually the study either directly or through additional research will lead to some sort of affordable treatment for Zika virus infection,” Lee said.

Dr. Mobeen Rathore, an infectious disease specialist, said it's too early to say the total impact of the medication.

“This is an important first step, but there are many more to come before we are able to say which drug is going to be effective against Zika virus infection,” Rathore said.

The drugs appear to fight Zika in animals but work still needs to be done to find out if the same results will be found in humans.

"Don’t forget, this is just what we’ve seen in the lab," Rathore said.

"Right now we're working in mice to see if we can also have these drugs work as well," Lee said. "Once we see that, we're going to move into additional animal models, and then eventually into people."

The Florida Department of Health announced one new non-travel related case of Zika on Monday. It was reported from the Zika “hot-spot” in Miami.

There are now more than 600 cases of Zika in the state of Florida.

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