Transmitted by the same mosquitoes that spread Zika virus and dengue fever, the chikungunya virus is named for an African word meaning “to become contorted.” People infected with the alphavirus are afflicted with lasting joint pain that causes their backs to hunch over, according to the World Health Organization.
The virus, which has cropped up in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean, has no vaccine. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends that people traveling to countries with chikungunya virus use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants.
But Nima Farzan thinks a vaccine in his company’s pipeline could help change that.
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