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FGCU Researchers Help Uncover a Zika Virus Outbreak in Cuba

Back in 2015, news spread of a widespread epidemic of Zika fever in Brazil, caused by the Zika virus. It spread to other parts of South and North America, including around Miami. It also affected several islands in the Caribbean. In February of 2016 the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern as evidence grew that Zika can cause birth defects like microcephaly. Then, in November of 2016 the WHO announced the epidemic had ended.

But, new research published in the recent issue of the journalCell brought to light a previously unreported outbreak of Zika in Cuba in 2017. We’re joined by two of the researchers who led that study to learn more.Dr. Sharon Isern is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Dr. Scott Michael is also a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at FGCU.