This structure was only recently revealed, as scientists rushed to combat the epidemic already in full swing in South and Central America. See, before a virus can be fought, we have to know how it's shaped. The virus structure can give scientists all sorts of insights into how it enters cells, how it evades the host's defenses, or how it can be broken. By knowing what proteins a virus uses to interact with the host cell membrane, antiviral medications can be developed to block these receptors. Viruses with a lipid envelope, like Zika, are vulnerable to alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which break apart its protective shell. If scientists can pinpoint its identifying markers, vaccines can be produced to help train the host's immune system into finding and destroying the virus.