Mapping a metropolis to detect Zika mosquito hotspots. Fashion equipment infused with a long-acting mosquito repellent. A particular cleaning soap that retains mosquitoes away. These are among the many profitable concepts from a Johns Hopkins University hackathon that drew members from Baltimore to Brazil in search of methods to assist forestall the unfold of the Zika virus.
Image credit score: Larry Canner
Johns Hopkins’ Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design and Jhpiego, a world well being nonprofit and college affiliate, convened the weekend Emergency Zika Design Challenge with a single, strategic focus: to provide you with modern concepts “to stop illness by way of safety from mosquito bites.”
“This is simply the beginning,” stated Youseph Yazdi, govt director of CBID and a co-organizer of the hackathon. “Every staff had kernels of nice concepts, however they want extra refinement. Jhpiego shall be offering the sources for the subsequent three months for the groups to get collectively and refine their concepts.”
Harshad Sanghvi, Jhpiego’s vice chairman of improvements and chief medical officer, inspired hackathon members to assume globally as a result of mosquito-borne illnesses aren’t restricted to Zika virus or to Latin America. “All of us have a accountability to determine an answer,” he stated. “We are dedicated to search out that answer.”
Cases of mosquito-borne Zika virus an infection in Latin America and the Caribbean have been related to microcephaly in infants born to ladies contaminated throughout being pregnant and Guillian-Barre syndrome in adults. On Feb. 1, the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a world well being emergency, estimating that four million individuals worldwide shall be contaminated by 12 months’s finish. The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact has inspired analysis universities comparable to Johns Hopkins to affix the battle towards Zika as many did throughout the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014.
Like their response to the Ebola disaster, CBID and Jhpiego organized the design problem to provoke the most effective and the brightest throughout the Johns Hopkins neighborhood to provide you with new, promising concepts to stop the unfold of mosquito-borne illnesses and save lives. As many as 80 p.c of individuals contaminated with Zika virus will present no signs. There is not any vaccine to stop Zika virus or antiretroviral therapy. Protection towards mosquito-borne illnesses contains use of insect repellent, sleeping underneath handled mattress nets, and eliminating breeding areas for mosquitoes.
During the Johns Hopkins hackathon, roughly 50 biomedical engineers, scientists, world well being specialists, and college students joined with public well being specialists from Brazil, the Armed Forces Pest Management Board, and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Invasive Insects Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory to brainstorm new methods to stop mosquito bites and inspire the general public to guard themselves.
Among the highest concepts to emerge:
– A modified mosquito entice surveillance system to map mosquito hotspots in a metropolis, empowering communities to take motion and clear up their neighborhoods and helping public officers in figuring out areas to spray for mosquitoes and higher goal sources;
– Culturally applicable style equipment that emit a long-acting mosquito repellent;
– A cleaning soap dubbed “Never Will Bite” that repels mosquitoes and can be utilized on the pores and skin or to clean garments, an thought that includes a repellent into a traditional every day routine;
– ZikAvoid, a banner that emits mosquito repellent and can be utilized at sporting occasions; it’s a part of a equipment that may additionally embrace a private spray, a larvicide, and an data packet that might be given to pregnant ladies throughout well being visits.
Among the problem members was a bunch of 5 highschool college students from Garrison Forrest School, a Baltimore day and boarding college for ladies. The younger ladies are members of the Women in Science and Engineering program, a partnership between the varsity and the Whiting School of Engineering.
“This occasion is unquestionably at a degree that exceeds what happens in highschool,” says Andrea Perry, the dean of particular applications for Garrison Forest who helped coordinate the ladies’ participation within the hackathon. “They’ve hit hurdle after hurdle of their design groups, however it has proven them that whereas they’re much less skilled, they will make priceless contributions. It has given them confidence to leap in with their concepts.”
Eleventh-grader Hanwen Yang stated she was uncomfortable with the immersive expertise at first.
“I got here in with out understanding what Zika is, however I realized lots by Saturday and I had many, many concepts,” she says. “Everyone had completely different insights and completely different areas of experience.