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Zika project launch

Shayal Devi
Friday, March 02, 2018

A PROJECT to assess the extent to which climate change influences the spread of the zika virus in Fiji will be launched in Nadi today.

Titled "Climate Change and Prevalence Study of Zika Virus Diseases in Fiji", the project also aims to provide recommendations for improvements. Funded by the German Health Ministry at a cost of $297,290 and facilitated by the University of Fiji, the project will be conducted in collaboration with Fiji's Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the University of Hamburg.

"The aim of the project is to better understand the relationship between climate change and Aedes aegypti-induced Zika virus to human health in Fiji," the University of Fiji said in a statement.

"This project describes the Zika virus spread through the global climatic change and the epidemiology of the disease. The Zika virus study in Fiji would complement the global distribution of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and other vectors to better understand the global human-health risk."

According to University of Fiji associate professor Dr Abhijit Gogoi, the findings of the research project would be published for the general public.

"The results from the research would be published to influence greater local understanding on climate change and human health, outlining mosquitoes' sensitivity to temperature changes," he said.

"Overall, the data sharing between medical entomologists, concerned public health professionals responsible for managing disease outbreaks and policymakers will be needed to improve preparedness for vector-borne diseases."

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