Spillover: Zika, Ebola & Beyond

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Learn more about how science fights back against infectious diseases from the experts at The Conversation.

All the following links go to theconversation.com.

A display used to educate the public on rubella vaccination and the mother-to-fetus transmission of this virus.

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via Public Health Image Library

In Zika, echoes of US rubella outbreak of 1964-65

Though separated by time and place, there are surprising similarities in the the social issues raised by the rubella outbreak of 1964-65 and the recent Zika outbreak in South America.

Woman administering the hepatitis B vaccine to a child at a rural health center in India

Credit: United Nations Development Programme, CC BY-NC-ND

GMOs lead the fight against Zika, Ebola and the next unknown pandemic

Public health experts enlist the molecular biology tools that create genetically modified organisms – as well as the GMOs themselves – in the fight against emerging infectious diseases.

Municipal workers wait before spraying insecticide

Credit: Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Explainer: Where did Zika virus come from and why is it a problem in Brazil?

Zika was discovered almost 70 years ago, but wasn't associated with outbreaks until 2007. So how did this formerly obscure virus wind up causing so much trouble in Brazil?

close-up of brush sorting pupae

Credit: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

Three ways synthetic biology could annihilate Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases

Insecticides and mosquito nets only get you so far. Synthetic biologists are ready to take the battle against mosquito-borne disease to the level of DNA — which might spell the insects' ultimate doom.

Women read Zika virus flyers

Credit: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Zika virus: mosquitoes and travel patterns will determine spread of virus

Models based on where the mosquitoes that transmit Zika are found and human travel patterns to and from infected areas are key to predicting where the virus will spread.

Kent Brantly at Emory University Hospital

Credit: Tami Chappell/Reuters

The biggest infectious disease threat we face isn't Ebola — it's our short attention span

In 2014, Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person treated for Ebola in the United States. The director of Emory University's Serious Communicable Disease Unit looks back at what we have — and haven't — learned.

person in hazmat suit holding a sign that says 'G2 Leaders Please Act Now on Ebola'

Credit: Jason Reed/Reuters

Is Ebola diverting resources from other neglected diseases?

The Ebola crisis garnered international attention — but some experts worry it drew focus and resources away from neglected diseases that are actually much more common.

Two women walk in front of a billboard, which says 'Ebola must go. Stopping Ebola is Everybody's Business'

Credit: UNMEER/Emmanuel Tobey, CC BY-ND

Ebola outbreak shows shortcomings in surveillance and response — and where we can do better

Along with better strategies to respond to outbreaks in human populations, we need a stronger focus on surveillance in animals to identify infectious diseases before they pose a risk to human health.

bat and flying fox hanging from a tree

Credit: CSIRO/Michelle Baker, Author provided

Why bats don't get sick from the deadly diseases they carry

Bats can carry some of the deadliest diseases known to affect human beings and yet they don't seem to get sick. So what can we learn from a bat's immune system?

hand holding up a panel of cell cultures

Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Explainer: What exactly is coronavirus?

Even if the term "coronaviruses" doesn't sound familiar, you may know about some of the illnesses they can cause, including SARS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and the common cold.

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