How Google is working with UNICEF to fight Zika

Google is putting up funds and manpower to help combat the spread of Zika virus, according to a Thursday blog post that details the company's donation of a $1 million grant to the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund and it's sending a volunteer team of engineers and data scientist to build a platform that will help visualize viral outbreaks.

"The possible correlation with Zika, microcephaly and other birth defects is particularly alarming," the blog post reads. "But unlike many other global pandemics, the spread of Zika has been harder to identify, map and contain… [F]ighting Zika requires raising awareness on how people can protect themselves as well as supporting organizations [that] can help drive the development of rapid diagnostics and vaccines. We also have to find better ways to visualize the threat so that public health officials and [non-governmental organizations] can support communities at risk."

The predictive tools Google is working to develop are specific to the current Zika outbreak but will be applicable for future infectious disease events. Additionally, the company has partnered with Latin American YouTubers, Sesame Street and others to raise awareness about Zika across multiple mediums.

The UNICEF grant will be used to raise awareness, reduce mosquito populations and support vaccine and diagnostic development, according to the post.

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