Zika Virus Research and Public Education

Jul 13, 2016

The number of travel-related cases of the Zika virus in Florida is quickly approaching 300 with confirmed Zika infections and public health emergencies declared in 27 Florida counties including Charlotte, Collier, and Lee.  So far the state has seen more than 40 cases concerning pregnant women.  Zika has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly in infants born to women who’ve had the virus while pregnant.  

We’ll explore Zika research efforts including a Florida mathematician’s analysis estimating the impact of mosquito-borne versus sexually transmitted cases of the virus.  We’ll learn about the New England Complex Systems Institute’s response plan for Zika-impacted communities and how exposure to an insecticide used in Brazil could be contributing to cases of microcephaly in infants.  We’ll also find out about the state’s zika monitoring efforts and public information campaigns aimed at combating spread of the virus.

Guests:

Yaneer Bar-Yam, Ph.D., President of the New England Complex Systems Institute

Shigui Ruan, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics Professor at the University of Miami