The Brazilian Ministry of Health, is ramping up its fight against the zika virus by making use of new technology developed by IBM. This new technology can accurately predict the spread of zika by using data gathered from social media as well as analyzing human travel patterns. The program uses data from various databases to visualize the spread of infectious diseases.
This sort of technology has been used before by the Brazilian government, most notably during the world cup of 2014.The Brazilian government can use this data to notify public health officials in advance of an outbreak in order to prevent the spread of the disease as much as possible. IBM helped the Brazilian government in the past when IBMs technology was used to scan millions of chemical compounds in order to ascertain how effective they could be as a chemical that could destroy Zika.
Currently IBM is working to develop more advanced computer programs that can be used to help contain the zika virus. IBM has already developed a program that can use data regarding rainfall, humidity and temperature to determine where on the planet the Aedes Aegypti mosquito will proliferate.
Recently the chief of The World Health Organization claimed that the risk of becoming infected with zika is low and the disease can be easily managed during the olympic events taking place in Rio. However, it is clear that many people from around the world are calling off their plans to travel to Rio to catch the olympics since only one third of all tickets have been sold.
Margaret Chan, the director general of The World Health Body, claimed during a speech in China that the risk of zika infection is currently low in Brazil. She also made clear the importance of taking measures to prevent infection and insisted that doing so is essential to containing the virus. For example, she strongly promoted the use of condoms to prevent the spread of the disease, and she claimed that recent studies have shown that women can spread the disease to men, and not always the other way around. It seems that worrying about traveling to Rio this summer is not necessary, as long as you remain cautious.
Do you think that the most recent studies regarding the spread of zika support the claim that traveling to Rio this summer is low-risk?