Already affecting more than 30 countries and territories in the Americas and Pacific Islands – the Zika virus could increase due to changing temperatures that make mosquito breeding more likely.
To fight the Zika virus – IBM is donating highly local data from The Weather Company, an IBM business, to U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
As noted in Forbes, “Over 20,000 of these weather-related data points spread across Brazil can provide daily information used to help estimate the [Aedes aegypti] larvae’s proliferation,” which is affected by humidity, rainfall, and temperature.
This data will help UNICEF predict outbreaks, identify patterns and effectively mobilize resources for mosquito control.
IBM will also train scientists from Fiocruz, a leading research institution affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Health to use Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler, a software which helps predict and visualize the spread of infectious diseases. IBM will also collaborate with Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies to collect biological and ecological data to help devise algorithms that can determine the carriers for the virus.
Additionally, IBM runs the ‘OpenZika project’ – a crowd-sourced supercomputer, allowing scientists in the United States and Brazil to screen millions of chemical compounds and find candidates to combat the virus.
This data could further strengthen the global collaboration of partners united in fighting Zika.
Additional outlets who covered this story:
- Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-zika-ibm-idUSKCN1071OT
- Fast Company: https://news.fastcompany.com/ibm-is-throwing-computer-power-at-brazils-zika-outbreak-4015204
- Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2016/07/27/your-phone-could-help-cure-zika-and-tb-ebola-and-other-devastating-infections/#4df45cca7f5f
- Fox Business: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2016/07/27/ibm-steps-up-efforts-in-fight-against-zika.html
- Times of India: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/IBM-steps-up-efforts-to-fight-Zika/articleshow/53418514.cms