World Health Organization launches Zika app for healthcare workers

By Aditi Pai
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new app this month, called WHO Zika App, which offers medical reference information about the Zika virus. The app is specifically designed for health care workers and responders, but can also be used by the general public.

Zika is a disease that is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Symptoms of this virus include mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, and a headache, according to WHO, but the disease also comes with a complication. Researchers have found an increasing body of evidence linking Zika virus and microcephaly, a condition in which a baby is born with a significantly smaller head than expected.

WHO’s Zika app includes a section on general information for the public that includes information on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. For healthcare workers, the app offers technical guidance, a link to WHO’s response plan, research and development updates, situation reports, and training.

The WHO website lists just one official app, called WHO Info, which offers users the latest health news, alerts of outbreaks, and other content from the health organization. The app is available in six languages, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, and Russian.

In October 2012, WHO, in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) launched an app, called eGSHS, that helps professionals track the health, fitness and safety of students and other adolescent populations. The app provides access to data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS), which asks students questions about diet, physical activity, hygiene, alcohol consumption, drug and tobacco use, violence and unintentional injuries, sexual and reproductive health, and mental health.