31 Dec '16, 12am
Noncomissioned officer at forefront of #USArmy Zika vaccine research
When Sgt. Christopher A. Springer received orders to report to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring, Maryland, all he knew of his impending assignment was that he would be working in a medical laboratory. But Springer soon learned that, because of the rapid spread of Zika, he would be among the first military personnel in the country taking part in the U.S. Army's efforts to control the mosquito-borne virus. Recognizing the threat of Zika to its service members in the outbreak zones of North and South America and Southeast Asia, the Army was moving quickly to develop a vaccine at the Department of Defense's largest biomedical research laboratory. Zika is a flavivirus similar to yellow fever, dengue and Japanese encephalitis. Flaviviruses are the field of expertise at the institute, which dates back to 1893. Springer was soon immersed in lab w...