Zika Outbreak in Brazil (04:35)
The Zika virus was first discovered in Uganda in 1947. It was never a dangerous virus, so health care professionals in Brazil were not initially worried when it was detected there. Concerns rose when more cases of microcephaly developed.
Zika Study (02:31)
Researchers discovered in April 2016 that Zika in mothers in Brazil caused microcephaly in infants. Zika is a spillover virus that transfers from mosquitoes to humans. Mosquitoes transfer numerous diseases.
Ebola Outbreak (06:08)
About a year before Zika struck Brazil, the world faced an Ebola epidemic. The virus struck residents of three densely populated West African nations. The disease usually struck remote areas, so it spread for months without being detected.
Virus vs. Bacteria (01:39)
Viruses are infectious agents that need a host to survive. Unlike bacteria, viruses cannot reproduce on their own and can infect numerous species to ensure their survival.
Spread of Ebola (07:10)
Most people who got Ebola in West Africa caught it from caring for a loved one that was already infected. Ebola attacks the immune systems, liver, and blood vessels. Many die from the body going into systematic organ failure.
Halting the Spread of Ebola (04:22)
Ebola is stopped when the chain of infection is broken. Healthcare workers called Contact tracers find all the people a patient might have been in contact with. Contact tracers can also determine the first person to contract Ebola.
Halting the Spread of Zika (02:08)
Zika is spread by mosquitoes instead of person-to-person contact like Ebola. In Brazil, healthcare workers and the military are working to wipe out mosquitoes. They assess homes for potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Disease Spillover (06:06)
Humans are making themselves more vulnerable to pathogen spillover as the population grows. People are moving into areas that were once only inhabited by animals. The Nipah virus broke out in Bangladesh, which moved from fruit bats to domestic animals and humans.
Nipah Virus (04:12)
Researchers are studying fruits bats in Bangladesh to better understand the Nipah virus. It is unknown if the virus mutates when it moves from bats to humans.
Outbreaks in Urban Centers (06:59)
The Ebola outbreak demonstrates how quickly a virus can spread once it reaches an urban center, especially ones with airports. Some Ebola patients did not start showing symptoms until they were on flights.
Identifying Pathogens (07:29)
Identifying pathogens is the best way to stop a potential epidemic from starting. PREDICT is a global project working to identify the next pathogen by looking at areas with high spillover risks. It took two years to contain the Ebola virus in West Africa.
Credits: Spillover - Zika, Ebola & Beyond (00:30)
Credits: Spillover - Zika, Ebola & Beyond
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