Posts Tagged ‘zika virus’

Leading Issues in the News: Zika

When the 2016 Summer Olympic games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro in 2009, the Zika virus was not on anyone’s mind. Instead, Rio faced concerns about crime, corruption, pollution and if the Olympic venues would be completed in time. That changed in May 2015 with the confirmation of the first case of Zika in Brazil. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus a public health emergency in February 2016 and warned it would continue to spread throughout Latin America and worldwide.

2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony

2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. Olympic rings adorn Maracana Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Games. By Fernando Frazao/Agencia Brasil via Wikimedia Commons.

The Zika outbreak raised concerns and fears about the impact on athletes and visitors. In May 2016, a group of doctors and scientists called on the WHO to have an open discussion on the risk of holding the Olympics in Brazil. The WHO declined the request and stated postponing, cancelling, or changing the location of the Olympics would not alter the spread of the Zika virus. A number of athletes pulled out of the Olympics citing concerns over Zika. However, for many athletes, their dreams of competing in the Olympic games outweighed the potential risks of contracting the Zika virus.

Now that the Games have ended and athletes and tourists have returned to their home countries, questions remain over the long-term effects of Zika. How many people were infected with the virus? Will they transmit the virus worldwide? Researchers estimate that for every 100,000 visitors to Rio, only 3 will be infected. But that is just an estimate. Will babies who are born in nine months suffer birth defects related to Zika infection? The world will just have to wait to find out the answers to these questions.

In the meantime, you can turn to SIRS Issues Researcher for in-depth coverage of the Zika virus. Zika is given the Leading Issues treatment and asks users the Essential Question, “Should pregnancy be postponed in areas where Zika is present.” Various viewpoints and background information are provided.

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Zika Virus Resources in ProQuest

Zika virus is an example of a vital current issue that is important for students to understand in our global society. Point your students to reliable, age-appropriate ProQuest resources to help them stay informed and critically think about global issues.

The Zika virus disease, according to the CDC, is caused by a Zika virus that is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Zika was first discovered in 1947 and named after the Zika forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases were detected and outbreaks occurred in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization issued an alert regarding a reported case of the Zika virus in Brazil and on February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika a public health emergency of international concern.

There are 346 cases of Zika in the continental United States in people who had contracted the disease outside of the country. On April 11, 2016, public health officials used strong language to describe the Zika virus. Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated, “Most of what we’ve learned is not reassuring….Everything we look at with this virus seems to be scarier that we initially thought.” Due to the outbreak threat in the United States, the Obama administration has lobbied Congress for $1.9 billion to combat the virus.

ProQuest offers comprehensive coverage of the Zika virus for students in elementary, middle, high school, and advanced grade levels:


eLibrary‘s editorially-created Research Topic frames the issue and helps students understand the Zika virus from all angles. The results list offers comprehensive coverage from such sources such as Nation’s Health, Life Science Weekly and includes scholarly journals like the American Journal of Public Health.


Zika Virus Research Topic via eLibrary

ProQuest Central

Thousands of results in ProQuest Central provide in-depth coverage including peer-reviewed articles.


Search on ProQuest Central

SIRS Discoverer

Editor-selected articles on issues like the Zika Virus are covered in SIRS Discoverer‘s Current Events feature and appropriate for the elementary to middle school grade levels.


Current Events Feature on SIRS Discoverer

SIRS Issues Researcher

Editors select comprehensive content on the Leading Issues of today in SIRS Issues Researcher that include updated articles, websites, and graphics that frame every issue.


Zika Virus Article on SIRS Issues Researcher

ProQuest editors work daily to curate relevant resources for your students. If you have any feedback or requests, let us know by contacting us or tweeting #ProQuest. If you don’t already have these resources, set up a trial.