Chemicals, balancers and masks may be a safe way to mask Zika virus symptoms
The head of the Ontario government’s public health agency says the province is considering a chemical treatment of the Zika virus to help people recover.
“The treatment we’re considering, I’m not going to get into specifics right now, but it would be in response to the ongoing response to Zika virus in the province,” said Dr. Anne McGrath.
McGrath, the minister of public health, said Thursday she was not aware of any treatment or cure for Zika, but said it could be a good thing.
“It would be an effective way of treating some of the symptoms that are causing the Zika situation,” McGrath told reporters.
“I’m not aware if there are other treatments that could help.”
Zika virus causes microcephaly and birth defects, which is why many parents opt for a medical intervention, such as surgery.
The government is considering whether or not to allow the use of the chemical agent bromelain, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in a Zika vaccine.
Mcgrath said the chemical compound is currently not available in the U to be used in a vaccine, and said it is not known if it would have any effect on the disease.
The province’s top public health official says the use in the Zika case is not something the province wants to do, but has been working with scientists to find alternatives.
She said the use would depend on the specific vaccine being developed, and that the province has made its position clear to the U, which has been the lead U.N. agency on Zika.
“We’re aware that the use has not been approved for the Zika vaccine in the United States,” McGrad said.
“We are looking at how we can do that.”
McGraths comments came after the province’s Public Health Minister said the province will be taking steps to find a way to contain the spread of the virus in a way that would keep the public safe.
“In this case, there is a very strong possibility that this virus could spread through people,” said Kathleen Wynne.
“So we are very keen to find ways to stop this virus, because we do not want to see the number of people contracting this virus increase significantly.”
Wynne also said the Ontario Liberals will be asking the U the province can provide some help to keep the virus from spreading further.
McGuath said in a statement Thursday the government will be working with the World Health Organization and other partners to develop a way for the province to control Zika in a controlled manner.
“That will involve more research, and more time, to determine exactly what that means,” she said.
“As we get to the final steps, we will be in contact with our partners to determine how we want to proceed.”
McGuantys office said she would be taking the government’s concerns about the Zika outbreak seriously.
“This is a serious situation, and there is an urgent need for public health advice and assistance to keep our province safe, while protecting our people and our environment,” McGuath said.
The health agency also announced Thursday it would open an investigation into how to combat Zika in Ontario.
A spokesperson for the U of T, which leads the research on Zika, said there is no reason to believe that brometain has any significant effects on the virus.
The U.K.’s Health Protection Agency said the drug used to treat Zika, a compound called amikacin, has been shown to protect against microcephy in mice and people with other genetic diseases, including some who carry the virus themselves.