EditorialRESEARCH AND POLICY

Once and future epidemics: Zika virus emerging

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Science Translational Medicine  16 Mar 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 330, pp. 330ed2
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf4548

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  • RE: “Paper outbreak” due to Zika virus and Ebola virus outbreaks: Why we still produce scientific knowledge using this model
    • José Antonio Poloni, Biochemist, Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre - Brazil
    • Other Contributors:
      • Liane Nanci Rotta, Pro-Rector, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre - Brazil

    Sir,
    we read with interest your article on Zika virus emerging and we would like to call attention to the scientific production "boom" that usually follows an outbreak.
    The recent outbreaks of Zika virus and Ebola virus revealed a phenomenon of published works about these subjects. Zika virus first reported in 1947 [1] and Ebola virus in 1976 [2] presented a low number of published works until 2014. Using the Pubmed search engine in February, 10th 2016, and the words “Zika virus” we found a total number of 164 published works; using the words “Ebola virus” we found a total number of 3362. Interestingly, about Zika virus, we have the absolute major part of the publications in the years 2014 to 2016 with a total number of 100 works 60,9% of the scientific production on this subject. About Ebola virus, also, the major part of the publications in the years of 2014 to 2016 with a total number of 1744 works 51,9% of the scientific production on this subject. These numbers reveal the necessity that urges on the scientific community to find answers to be able to fight against an important infectious disease. Otherwise it also reveals that the interest about the disease is related to the impact of the pathogen and then the necessity to find answers to the questions about the new outbreak. The question is: Why do we keep on working in response to an outbreak and not preventively? The Ebola virus, one of the most dangerous pathogens known, since the first out...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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