OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Scientists are searching for a solution to a mosquito-borne illness and you could be a part of it.
A vaccine trial is happening right now in Oklahoma City and they’re seeking volunteers.
This research happening in Oklahoma could have a major impact across the world.
“They’re making a great difference in helping out where we could help the health, not only of those in the US, but these vaccines to benefit those in the other countries where they have higher case rates,” said Dr. Carl Griffin, Principal Investigator of Clinical Trials at the Lynn Institute.
Griffin is speaking on the trials happening right now on a vaccine for the Chikungunya virus – which is spread by mosquito bites.
While death isn’t common, it can cause debilitating pain in the muscles and joints.
“It’s a virus that has been identified in the early 2000s, specifically in Africa and some parts of Europe and then it became an issue with Americans traveling over there, being bit, coming back, developing the symptoms,” Griffin said.
But in recent years, it’s been identified in the U.S. – with local cases popping up in Texas, Louisiana and Florida.
Dr. Griffin says with the mosquitoes we have in Oklahoma, it wouldn’t be surprising to find it spreading here as well.
He hopes this trial will result in a solution
“To determine, is this a vaccine that can help treat this condition – because currently there’s no treatment for it,” Griffin said. “There’s no vaccines. There’s no medications by mouth. If a person gets bit by the mosquito and develops the illness itself, they have to let it run its course.”
The Lynn Institute is still looking for volunteers in the 12 – 17-year-old age group.