Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mapping the Zika Virus

The World Health Organization has established an emergency committee in response to the explosive spread of the Zika virus in the Americas. The virus has now affected people in 23 countries in the Americas. You can view a static map of the countries with active Zika virus transmission on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

The Zika virus causes an illness similar to dengue fever and it cannot be prevented by drugs or vaccines. The link between Zika fever and microcephaly in newborn babies of infected mothers has not yet been established - but is strongly believed to exist.

HealthMap, which provides interactive maps of infectious diseases, has now released a map of the Zika virus. The Zika Virus HealthMap is not a map of confirmed cases of the Zika virus but plots news from disparate data sources, including "online news aggregators, eyewitness reports, expert-curated discussions and validated official reports".

As well as providing an overview of the current Zika virus outbreak the map includes an overlay showing the predicted global distribution of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that spreads the virus.

Also see Mapping the Zika Virus - Part Two.

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