Hawaii researchers focus on data to combat Zika virus

Hawaii researchers focus on data to combat Zika virus

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - As the Zika outbreak takes hold in Latin America, researchers thousands of miles away in Hawaii are using data to figure out where it might spread next.

In the last three months, researchers from the University of Hawaii at the Pacific Disaster Center have focused on combating Zika. In previous years, the center has helped agencies like the State Department and Department of Homeland Security react to disasters like a 2015 earthquake in Nepal to Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji last month.

The World Health Organization recently declared Zika virus a "public health emergency of international concern." Hawaii researchers are working to gather data and map where the virus could travel.

The virus has triggered outbreaks in 41 countries, and has been linked to birth defects.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.