Understanding Zika Virus With a MOOC

The Centre Virchow-Villermé developed with Aline Philibert (University of Montreal) the MOOC “In the footstep of Zika… approaching the unknown”. Aiming at facilitating the understanding of the stakes around ZIKA virus, it will rely on a transdisciplinary and transversal approach and address topics such as medical, anthropological and economical aspects of the virus. It is as well suitable for a general audience as well as for public health, health care professionals and students. course will be available on demand on Coursera on July 15th 2016, in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. The Institut Pasteur, the University of Geneva, and the University of Paris Descartes co-produce this MOOC.

 

“ In the footstep of Zika… approaching the unknown”: an interdisciplinary and comprehensive MOOC

The MOOC will explore the recent Zika phenomenon and will state widespread implications of that virus through a number of different aspects of our society by adopting an interdisciplinary approach.

To do so it will cover a range of topics, such as epidemiology, historical and geographical dispersion of the virus and its vectors through globalization and climate change, its modes of transmission, but also the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. The different types of preventive measures will be also covered. A special module will focus on possible neurological adverse effects such as the risk for birth defects (microcephaly) in pregnant women, while another one will examine the peripheral nerve paralysis called the Guillaume-Barré syndrome. The fact that Zika causes a significant threat to political and economic stabilities and thus reinforces social inequity through South America will be addressed. The revolution in cultural, religious, and legal norms in front of the expansion of Zika will be also discussed. Finally, we will state the role, recommendations and response measures of policy makers and public health organizations under the light of medias.

Experts and faculty members with diverse background reunited for a course targeted to a mixed audience

The MOOC will gather interventions from faculty members and international experts. They will highlight the dynamics and challenges inherent in the recent Zika outbreak within a broad range of topics. The essential knowledge and knowledge gaps will be reviewed and discussed. This course will give the accessibility to teach, transmit, share and bridge the knowledge gap in the Zika phenomenon.

Through this MOOC the educational team of this MOOC wants to bring together participants around the world having a strong interest in global health crises such as Zika that we are currently facing. Participants from multiple fields and different backgrounds, including researchers, professors and students in related academic fields, health care professionals, policy makers, stakeholders working with Zika related issues, and also anyone who is interested to know more about this outbreak without borders will be welcomed.

 

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