Google Leverages Technology to Help Combat Zika Virus


The $1 million donation is expected to be used to help UNICEF inform the public about the virus, develop vaccines and exterminate mosquito populations.

Google’s Zika map draws on weather and travel patterns to visualize potential outbreaks.
The ministry said the virus had either been sexually transmitted or a mosquito had come in the man’s luggage, which had then infected his partner.
Florida has more confirmed Zika cases than any other state, according to the CDC, which has reported 153 cases in the continental United States as of March 2.
When it comes to making Zika virus information more accessible, Google already made notable efforts.
“Anyone who is planning to travel to a country with active Zika virus transmission should consult with their healthcare provider before leaving, especially if they are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant”, Relucio said. Outstandingly, in addition to Google helping UNICEF going through the data collected on previous Zika studies, it has also provided the foundation with $1 million grant to assure their efforts are well sustained.
Noriany Rivera, who is 40 weeks pregnant, looks at her belly as she listens to a doctor during a routine check up, as fliers explaining how to prevent Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses are posted on the wall, at a public hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 3, 2016. Zika could potentially be linked to a severe birth defect called microcephaly, which causes a baby to be born with a smaller than average head size, often leading to mental and physical development issues.
Google ramped the amount of Zika-related health information, and the number of languages in which they are provided, at its search engine and backed YouTube videos aimed at raising awareness, Fuller said.
The US company said that it was also updating its products to make information on Zika more available.
“This set of tools is being prototyped for the Zika response, but will also be applicable to future emergencies“, the company said. Scientists suspect an outbreak of the Zika virus is behind a surge in a rare birth defect in Brazil.
Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that the outbreak of this disease was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization last month and has spread quite fast across America.
Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, though there also have been reports of transmission through sexual contact or from mother to unborn child.