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You Could be Sharing Your Pet’s Medicine Soon: A New Approach to Mosquito-Borne Illnesses?

Anti-parasite medicine could be used to stop malaria and Zika from spreading in humans. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A recently published study suggest medicine used to kill fleas and ticks in household pets might be effective at stopping mosquito-borne outbreaks in humans. University of Florida’s Derrick Mathias says the drugs still need to pass safety tests in humans and animals. If they do, they could be even more effective than a vaccine response to outbreaks of malaria and Zika in humans.

“It does target all mosquitoes. Essentially you wouldn’t need a different vaccine for each disease. Whereas a vaccine you have to go in and create something distinct for each virus.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report there have already been 67 cases of Zika contracted in the United States.

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Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.