“It is important to understand that we will not have a safe and effective vaccine against the virus Zika available this year and probably not in the next few years, “he said in a telephone news conference. A phase 1 clinical trial to determine the safety of the vaccine could be held before the end of 2016, he said.

The boss explained that NIAID researchers already working to develop vaccines against dengue virus and West Nile belonging to the same family as Zika, Flaviviruses, and that their work was already well advanced.

NIAID adopted two approaches to develop Zika anti-vaccine, according to Dr. Fauci. The first is based on DNA, a strategy similar to that followed against West Nile virus with a phase 1 clinical trial showed that the vaccine was safe and effective. The second approach is to use a weakened virus to provoke an immune reaction, which was conclusive against the dengue virus.

In addition to the work on a vaccine, US researchers will focus their efforts on to other fronts as the development of diagnostic tools and animal model to understand the effects of the virus on the body, especially pregnant women.

Zika Screening Tests should be able to quickly identify not only if an infection is underway but also there was an infection in the past, which will be “critical to reassure women who are expecting a child living in countries where the virus is endemic, or those who have traveled to these regions “argued Dr. Fauci.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday an emergency meeting on February 1 on the Zika virus, which is spreading” explosively “on the American continent, with 3 to 4 million cases expected this year. No cases of direct infection has yet been registered in the United States. Benign in appearance, infection with this virus transmitted by mosquitoes is suspected to cause serious birth defects of the brain of the fetus in infected pregnant women.