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FutureLearn: Preventing the Zika Virus: Understanding and Controlling the Aedes Mosquito

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The Zika virus is suspected to be the cause of cases of microcephaly in newborns in South America, and this outbreak has now been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. With global attention towards this disease increasing rapidly, it is becoming clear that there is limited knowledge around how the carriers, or vectors, of Zika, are best avoided and controlled.

Focus on the Zika virus

This free online course will begin by considering the science behind the outbreak to try to understand where the Zika virus has come from, its symptoms, and its effect on infected individuals. Our attention will then turn towards the vector primarily responsible for transmission of Zika: the Aedes mosquito.

Explore the biology of Aedes mosquitoes

We will introduce the Aedes mosquito and examine its lifecycle, behaviour, and distribution across the world, before reflecting upon the important role it plays in spreading Zika virus. Without a vaccine, prevention and control relies on reducing numbers of mosquitoes and the contact they have with people, so an understanding of the biology of Aedes is vital.

Discover vector control methods

A range of methods employed to control the Aedes mosquito will be highlighted, including the use, importance, and suitability of repellents, impregnated clothing, larval control, insecticide spraying, and insecticide treated nets. The vectors of Zika virus also transmit dengue, yellow fever and the chikungunya virus, meaning there is potential to apply these techniques in other settings.

Learn together and from those on the front line in South America

Learners will come from all over the world with their own diverse experiences and interests. You will have the opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas through course discussion, and hear first-hand accounts from experts and individuals working in the field in South America. Contributors include:

  • Dr Mary Cameron, Reader in Medical Entomology
  • Dr Jo Lines, Reader of Malaria Control and Vector Biology
  • Professor Laura Rodrigues, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and working with the Microcephaly Epidemic Research Group in Brazil
  • Professor Jimmy Whitworth, Professor of International Public Health.

¡Ven y aprende con nosotros! | Venha aprender conosco!

Subtítulos en Inglés, Español y Portugués serán disponibles para cada video. Estos se pueden encontrar haciendo clic en el icono en la parte inferior derecha de la ventana del reproductor. Transcripciones PDF, diapositivas y traducciones de páginas también serán disponibles en la sección ‘Downloads/Descargas’. Discusiones y avisos del curso, enviados al comienzo de la semana, estarán en Ingles solamente.

Versões com legendas em espanhol e português estarão disponíveis em todos os vídeos. Para alterar, click no ícone que aparece no canto direito da tela. PDF, slides e outros materiais traduzidos estarão também disponíveis para download na seção etapa relevantes. Discussões, avisos e informações enviadas no início de cada semana serão escritas apenas em inglês.

About ARCTEC

ARCTEC is an integral part of the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a world-leading independent test centre for consultancy and the evaluation and development of arthropod pest control technologies.

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in learning about Zika virus vector control. It is relevant to workers newly drafted into vector control work, NGO employees in affected countries, students taking a healthcare or science-related degree, medical students and postgraduates wishing to complement their studies, and academic staff in aligned disciplines.

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Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Finished
Subject Biology
Provider FutureLearn
Language English
Certificates $49 Certificate Available
Hours 4 hours a week
Calendar 3 weeks long
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FAQ View All
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

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