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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There’s encouraging news regarding the Zika virus and efforts to fight the disease.

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Researchers in St. Louis say developers have successfully designed a vaccine that protects lab mice against the Zika virus.

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The next step is to test the possible vaccine on people.

South Florida was ground zero for Zika in this country last summer and fall with Zika cases reported in sections of Wynwood and Miami Beach.

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Zika can cause severe birth defects, including babies born with abnormally small heads. The mosquito-borne virus can also be transmitted sexually.