Zika Virus: The facts, the fears and the future

By Neil Murthy

A Medill Newsmakers Report

The current Zika Virus epidemic first began in Brazil last year, and has since spread to more than 25 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. With the World Health Organization declaring the virus to be a “public health emergency of international concern,” the CDC, along with state and local public health departments are bracing for potential cases of local transmission in the U.S. Illinois has already had 16 travel-associated cases of Zika, and now that the summer mosquito season is about to begin, what can we do to protect ourselves from Zika? Learn more about what we know about Zika—how the disease is spread, what the symptoms are, and how scientists have determined the link between the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly. This episode of Medill Newsmakers will also look toward the future—how public health officials and scientists are preventing further spread of the virus, and how the virus may impact the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

Photo at top: Graphic illustrating mosquito bite (From the Zika virus animation scripted by Neil Murthy/Medill; produced by Next Media Animation)