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Cirion Foundation

the impact of infectious diseases


The Zika outbreak and the consequences show how important public information is in prevention and control of infectious diseases. The WHO declared a global health emergency for Zika in February and announced last week that there is strong scientific consensus that Zika virus can cause GBS, microcephaly and other neurological disorders. No treatment or vaccine is available for zika virus infections (yet). So prevention is better than cure. This statement is not only true in the case of Zika virus, but for many more virus infections. That is why the Erasmus Medical Center and Cirion Foundation have developed ‘Viruskenner’. Viruskenner is an unique education module that addresses prevention of infectious diseases. The project runs in the Netherlands, Suriname and Indonesia at several schools, in total addressing more than one thousand students. They worked together in small groups with support from young, enthusiastic doctors and researchers to develop tools that help to prevent transmission of viruses. Last year comprehensive evaluations showed that participation in the Viruskenner education module has led to better knowledge regarding virus infections. The WHO underlined that knowledge is an important way of prevention in infectious diseases. Viruskenners agree: Knowledge is antidote!

Research team:

o Prof. Eric C.M. van Gorp

o Dr. M. Goeijenbier MD PhD Msc

o L. Doornekamp MD

o K. Shoker