With the Rio de Janeiro Olympics approaching and the Zika virus wreaking havoc on the Western hemisphere, Brazilian authorities have come up with a new way to keep Olympic-goers safe: an app.
Brazil will launch a multi-language anti-Zika app intended to educate people about Zika and limit the viruses damage at the Games. Via Yahoo Sports:
The app will provide information on preventing Zika, ask users about their health and if necessary direct them to the nearest pharmacy or hospital via GPS.
Besides the virtual diagnosis, it will also feature a quiz in the form of an Olympics-inspired video game.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus believed to cause microcephaly in newborns whose mothers are affected. It was recently discovered to be sexually transmitted. According to CNN, Zika has spread to 34 countries and territories, including the United States and will affect 3-4 million people in the next year.
The virus has hit Brazil particularly hard, prompting concern over the affect it will have on the upcoming Olympics which begin August 5 in Rio de Janeiro.
In recent months, several national Olympic committees have warned about Zika —including the United States Olympic Commiteee, which suggested athletes and fans concerned about Zika stay home — and the organizing committee in Rio has announced it will charge delegations for anti-Zika nets.
In the end, the best way to protect against Zika is to be aware of its threat and get treatment immediately in case of symptoms. So even though it seems silly to treat a dangerous virus with an app, having some extra info in your pocket can’t hurt.