Microsoft Founder Bill Gates Could Cure Zika

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates Could Cure Zika
Tue Feb 23, 2016 14:48:40

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is trying to find a cure for the Zika virus after he and his wife were heartbroken at the sight of babies born with deformities thought to be a result of the bug.

The richest man in the world is using his charity The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to work with scientists and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The foundation spent billions in the fight against Ebola and is turning its attention to the Zika virus.

He is hoping investment in medical technologies will help speed up the process.

He said: "It's another tragedy, and new medical technology can help, but it never comes overnight the way that we would like it to.

"Ebola, as tragic as it was, the world, including all these scientists, are coming together a lot faster this time around."

The virus has spread to at least 32 countries and already a number of Britons have been infected, as well as cases in Ireland and wider Europe.

Zika virus is mostly contained in the Americas, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with fears it will hit the United States and elsewhere.

Studies under way are attempting to prove whether it is responsible for a surge in a birth defect called microcephaly that can cause serious brain damage and developmental problems.

Mr Gates said the best way to tackle the crisis is by getting rid of mosquitoes that carry and spread the disease- the same breed of mosquito carries dengue and Zika.

He said: "There's a couple of things the foundation has invested in for a long time, one is how you either change mosquitoes not to carry viruses or how you change mosquitoes so their populations go down dramatically.

"Those are technologies that we were working on to get rid of dengue and malaria."

WHO and governments were severely criticised for a slow response to the deadly Ebola outbreak that killed thousands of people in West Africa, Express reported.

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