FREDERICK (AP) — As the Zika virus rages through South and Central America, probably causing women to give birth to babies with abnormally small heads, few people understand that the virus has its origins in Africa. And even fewer realize that the man who originally discovered the virus 70 years ago, Alexander John Haddow, has a Frederick and a Fort Detrick connection.
Sadly, relatively little research has been done since the Zika virus was discovered in 1947 by Haddow, says his grandson, Andrew D. Haddow, a researcher who followed his ancestor’s footpath and now works in the virology division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick.
Haddow said he is hoping his grandfather’s pioneering work from back then will inspire lifesaving research today.
“One of the problems with this virus right now is that we honestly don’t know a lot,” Andrew Haddow said on Feb. 2.