Zika virus prevention with green tea molecule epigallocatechin (EGCG) shows potential, according to research. EGCG blocks the Zika virus in the host cells – which may be beneficial at preventing Zika. The authors wrote, “The mechanism by which this inhibition occurs is probably related to the direct interaction of the drug with lipid envelope, leading to a subsequent destruction of the virus particle.”
Zika virus continues to spread threatening to turn into an epidemic, and with the Rio Olympic Games right around the corner, there is a strong need for definitive preventative measures directed at Zika virus.
EGCG has been found to show activity against other viruses, including HIV, by not letting the virus into the host cells. Using the Brazilian strain of Zika virus, the researchers infected cells in a laboratory setting and mixed the virus with different concentrations of EGCG.
The researchers found that the higher the concentration of EGCG was, the better it was able to prevent Zika virus from entering the cells.
This is the first study to reveal the benefits of EGCG in preventing Zika virus. Furthermore, EGCG has been found to be safe for healthy individuals. In mice studies, it has been shown to be safe during pregnancy, too.
Further studies are still required to determine EGCG’s effectiveness in Zika virus prevention before proceeding to clinical trials.
Zika virus prevention tips
There is no vaccine available for Zika virus, so you must utilize alternative prevention methods in order to lower your risk of Zika virus. Prevention tips for Zika include:
- Stay in air-conditioned and well-screened homes.
- Reschedule outdoor activities and avoid high times for mosquitoes.
- Wear protective clothing – long sleeves, long pants, hats, socks, and shoes.
- Use mosquito repellent.
- Reduce mosquito habitat – remove standing water, which can be found in fountains, buckets, etc.
- Avoid sexual intercourse for up to eight weeks if your partner has been to a Zika-ridden country or has been infected with the virus.
Treatments for Zika virus include getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids to prevent dehydration, and taking medication to reduce fever and pain. Do not take anti-inflammatory or aspirin.
Prevention is your best defence against Zika. You may also want to avoid countries with high incidence rates for the virus – especially if you are pregnant.