Google, the child company of Alphabet Inc, said in a statement it was providing a $1 million grant to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund to help it raise awareness about Zika virus, reduce mosquito populations and support other Zika-related initiatives on the ground, mostly in Latin America. Google’s engineers are working with UNICEF to analyze data in an effort to map and anticipate the spread of the Zika virus and to help build 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,” Google said.
Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF said that Google’s grant to UNICEF “would help it reach 200 million people in the region who are either affected by or vulnerable to Zika with information on how they can protect themselves”
Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. It was first detected in Brazil last year and is spreading rapidly in the Americas. The virus outbreak has been declared as a global health emergency last month by the World Health Organization.