The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus as a global health emergency. The virus continues to spread across South America and far beyond that. Today, Google announced that it will team up with UNICEF to create a platform that seeks to assemble data from different sources to map and predict possible outbreaks.
The spread of this virus is harder to identify and map. Reports say that 4 out of 5 people who are affected by this virus, don’t show any symptoms. In addition to that, the Aedes mosquito species, which is responsible for transmitting the disease is widespread and not easy to get rid of. Chances are, there is a correlation with Zika, microcephaly and some other birth defects, which is particularly frightening.
Fighting the virus needs increased awareness among people on how they can prevent themselves from getting affected. Everyone should come together and support NGOs and other organizations that can help in providing rapid diagnostics and vaccines. Also, these organizations can visualize the threat in a better way and support communities that are at risk of being affected by the virus.
The social networking giant can be really resourceful with that outsized data and years of experience to help people find more information at a higher pace and larger scale. So, some of the Googlers are working with UNICEF to analyze data to decide how to map and predict the existence of the virus. The company has also updated some of its products to make Zika information more available and is providing UNICEF with a grant of $1 million to help their efforts in this matter.
This money will be used by UNICEF to spread awareness in a wider region, lower the number of mosquitoes, and develop ways for diagnostics and vaccines. Also, UNICEF will be working with government entities to prevent the transmission of Zika. UNICEF is trying to reach over 200 million affected people throughout Brazil and Latin America.
Google has already included vigorous information for more than 900 health conditions on Search for the Americans. It is also taking initiatives to add more information on Zika virus worldwide in more than 16 languages. The information includes the details of the virus, symptoms, and Public Health Alerts, which can be updated to the most recent information on the matter.
The official blog of the company also has a map that shows the Google Search for the Zika virus, as it increases by 3,000 percent around the world.