Jessica Sieff | July 11, 2017
The University of Notre Dame has announced a collaboration with Mayo Clinic, the Belize Ministry of Health and the Belize Vector and Ecology Center aimed at strengthening the country’s ability to respond to Zika virus and other arboviruses. Researchers are already working in Belize as part of the five-year project, which will include a full epidemiological and entomological surveillance study, training for health care professionals and public health awareness and education.
John Grieco and Nicole Achee, research associate professors with the Eck Institute of Global Health, will lead vector surveillance activities. From Mayo Clinic, John Wilson, in the Division of Infectious Diseases, and Elitza Theel, in the Division of Clinical Microbiology, will lead activities associated with capacity building for diagnostic testing of arboviral diseases. They will also spearhead the human epidemiological studies for Zika and other arboviruses in Belize.
Just how widely Zika has spread in Belize is unknown, and Grieco said that is precisely why this project is so vital to the country’s future.