ASM Microbe

ASM Microbe

June 19, 2016
3 min watch
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VIDEO: Scott B. Halstead, MD, discusses Zika history

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BOSTON — Scott B. Halstead, MD, an adjunct professor in the department of preventive medicine and biometrics, Uniformed Services of the University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, discusses his experiences with Zika virus in Uganda beginning in the early 1960s. Halstead compared the behavior of the virus, which was not associated with adverse birth outcomes and sexual transmission at that time, to the current epidemic sweeping across the Americas.

“We’ve had Zika in Southeast Asia for more than 40 years,” he said. “And it did nothing.”

Disclosure: Halstead reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Halstead provided Infectious Disease News with photographs from his temporary duty assignment in Uganda in 1963 at the East Africa Virus Research Laboratory. Halstead said the lab was set up to study yellow fever, but serum samples taken from a monkey there tested positive for the Zika virus.

Credit: Scott B. Halstead, MD

Figure 1. East Africa Virus Research Laboratory in Entebbe, Uganda

Credit: Scott B. Halstead, MD

Figure 2. Alexander J. Haddow, MD (left), director of the East Africa Virus Research Laboratory

Credit: Scott B. Halstead, MD

Figure 3. The “sentinel tower,” which was installed to study the Zika forest’s canopy biology

Credit: Scott B. Halstead, MD

Figure 4. The Zika cave

Credit: Scott B. Halstead, MD

Figure 5. Scott B. Halstead, MD, standing at the equator in Uganda