PREDICT partners feed macaque monkeys on the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh to gather samples of feces. photo: Courtesy of Tangled Bank Studios, LLC
Spillover- Zika, Ebola & Beyond airs on WSKG TV August 3, 2016 at 10pm.
Investigate the rise of spillover viruses like Zika, Ebola and Nipah that can make the leap from animals to humans. Find out how human behaviors spread diseases and what science can do to anticipate and prevent epidemics around the world.
Throughout the last few decades, diseases that spill over from animals to humans have been on the rise. What’s behind their increase, and can we do anything to combat these dangerous foes? Join scientists as they investigate the rise of spillover viruses like Zika, Ebola and Nipah, and learn what science can do to anticipate and prevent epidemics around the world.
In 2015, a mysterious virus, eventually identified as Zika, first appeared in Brazil, flooding clinics with patients. Health care workers and researchers working in Brazil made a startling connection between the increase in prenatal Zika virus infections and the growing number of babies born with microcephaly and other devastating birth defects. The year before, as the world watched in horror, the Ebola virus tore through the heart of West Africa, leaving some 12,000 dead in its wake. The outbreak was historic: ten times worse than all other Ebola outbreaks combined. And beyond the headlines, out of the spotlight, other threats were unfolding at the same time: legions of viruses were continuing their march around the globe, largely unreported. Nipah. Chikungunya. MERS. All are diseases caused by viruses that reside in animals and spill over into humans. Over the last half century, the number of spillover diseases has increased rapidly. What’s behind the rise in spillover viruses? What can we do to stop them? And what have we learned from the ultimate containment of Ebola?