Zika virus outbreak and related research
The School is actively involved in responding to the current Zika virus outbreak in the Americas, which is thought to be linked to an increase in cases of the birth defect microcephaly, as well as other neurological disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Video: What is Zika? And how can it be prevented and treated?
Professor Jimmy Whitworth is coordinating the School’s response and staff are involved in studies on Zika and associated conditions, research collaborations with a number of universities in Brazil, and advising governments and international agencies.
Professor Laura Rodrigues is working with the Microcephaly Epidemic Research Group in Brazil, a collaboration between the School and key academic institutions in Pernambuco. Funded by the government of Brazil and The Wellcome Trust, she is conducting a case control study of newborn babies to characterise the link between Zika infection and microcephaly. She is also preparing cohort studies of pregnant women who develop Zika, to establish the risk of microcephaly associated with infection at different stages, and of babies born with microcephaly, to track their development.
Professor Rosanna Peeling is part of the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization consultation on the development and assessment of Zika diagnostic tests.
Mathematical modellers at the School are analysing previous Zika outbreaks in order to better understand the transmission dynamics of the virus. Researchers in vector biology and mosquito-borne diseases are providing guidance on mosquito control strategies and how people can protect themselves from bites, as well as mapping areas of risk.
- World Health Organization Zika situation reports
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – risk assessment and maps
- Public Health England - health protection guidance on Zika virus
- Brazil government weekly epidemiological bulletins (in Portuguese)
- Insect repellent advice (Bug Off website)
News and comment:
- Latest media highlights: opinion from our experts in the news
- 28 October 2016 - School receives EU funding to tackle Zika virus
- 16 September 2016 - Microcephaly case-control study confirms Zika virus causality
- 2 September 2016 - Climate and air travel maps identify Africa & Asian countries at greatest risk of Zika
- 26 July 2016 - The Zika babies – what do we know and what should be done?
- 24 June 2016 - Expert comment on Rory McIlroy's decision to drop out of the Olympics due to Zika fears
- 31 May - Expert comment on Zika virus risk to America
- 19 May - Expert comment on WHO risk assessment for Zika in Europe
- 4 May - Expert comment on bacteria to prevent Zika transmission
- 24 March - Expert reaction to genome analysis study of the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil
- 22 March Zika research awarded Rapid Response funding
- 16 March Expert comment on first study to estimate risk of microcephaly for women infected with Zika virus
- 8 March Peter Piot: From Ebola to Zika (filmed lecture)
- 1 March Expert reaction to study suggesting link between Zika virus and Guillain-Barré syndrome
- 18 February What we need to find out about Zika and pregnancy (Wellcome Trust blog)
- 17 February Expert comment on a case study looking at Zika virus from amniotic fluid of foetuses with microcephaly in Brazil
- 16 February Zika Q&A with Prof Laura Rodrigues
- 10 February Global scientific community commits to sharing data on Zika (Wellcome Trust)
- 4 February Will current mosquito control methods halt the spread of Zika? Blog by Laith Yakob and Thomas Walker
- 2 February Expert comment on WHO decision that microcephaly clusters associated with Zika infection constitute a public health emergency
- 26 January Expert comment on Zika virus outbreak in the Americas
- 21 January Prof Laura Rodrigues on the epidemic of microcephaly in Brazil (Seminar recording and slides)
- New free online course coming soon - Preventing the Zika virus: Understanding and Controlling the Aedes Mosquito
- MSc Medical Entomology for Disease Control
- MSc Medical Parasitology
- MSc Control of Infectious Diseases