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Reblogged from ASSET Project

During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) developed an application that allowed people to share information on the spread of the contagion, which proved to be very useful to monitor the situation. Now that the Zika virus outbreak is raising concerns, would it be possible to use a similar approach? Some weeks ago, the experts of the CDC argued that developing an app to track the spread of Zika virus would not be as effective as it was with Ebola. The main difference being the modality of virus transmission: Ebola infection is conveyed through human contact, while Zika virus is mainly spread through mosquito bites. Therefore, in the case of Zika, tracking the vector of the infection and monitoring the epidemiological situation is harder.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that using a tool like an app is not useful to spread information, especially for health care providers. Some days ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an app for both iOS and Android that contains all the information about Zika virus and its suspected complications. The app is especially designed for health care workers, it provides technical guidance complied by WHO experts and is focused on prevention and diagnosis, through a surveillance training and a facilitator’s guide.

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