Google working with UNICEF to map Zika data

Google working with UNICEF to map Zika Virus data.

On Thursday, Google said that “Engineers are analysing data and trying to map and anticipate the spread of the Zika virus linked to birth defects among children in Brazil.”

Google also confirmed the grant of $1 million to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to fight with Zika virus, raising awareness, reduce mosquito populations and to help those agencies who are working against Zika virus, mostly in Latin America

Google also making changes to its product, to make is more informative about Zika Virus, after they noticed a 3000% rise in Google search globally regarding Zika Virus.

A volunteer team of Google Engineers and Data scientist is helping UNICEF building a platform to process data from different sources, including weather and travel patterns, in order to visualise potential outbreaks.

“The goal of this open source platform was to identify the risk of Zika transmission for different regions and help UNICEF, governments and NGOs decide how and where to focus their time and resources,” the Google said.

Chris Fabian, UNICEF Innovation Co-Lead, said the open source platform could be expanded for global use and employed in future disease outbreaks.

In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. On Feb 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

What is Zika virus and Symptoms

According to WHO, Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. It may cause Microcephaly, a rare condition where a baby is born with a small head.

A baby infected with Zika Virus
CREDIT: Felipe Dana/AP

Most common symptoms of Zika virus are

  • Mild Fever
  • Skin rashes
  • Muscle and joint pain,
  • Headache

There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for Zika at the moment, and many organization from all over the world are working on it. Learn more about Zika virus on Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is current stats of Zika Virus

According to World Health Organization, Between 1 January 2007 and 25 February 2016, a total of 52 countries and territories have reported autochthonous (local) transmission of Zika virus, including those where the outbreak is now over and countries and territories that provided indirect evidence of local transmission. Among the 52 countries and territories, Marshall Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago are the latest to report autochthonous transmission of Zika virus.

A more detailed report and statistic about Zika virus is available on WHO website.


A freelance Technical Writer, worked as a Software and Web Developer, a Product Support Specialist in World Wide Web, experienced in Digital Marketing and a Technical Journalist in computer publishing industry.