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Skip to 0 minutes and 14 secondsThere's an ongoing outbreak of the Zika virus which began in 2015 in Brazil and follows an outbreak in French Polynesia in 2013. For most people infection causes short lived and mild symptoms, however in these recent outbreaks a medical condition in newborns called microcephaly has been associated with Zika, as well as additional neurological and auto immune complications.

Skip to 0 minutes and 22 seconds I'm James Logan, Senior Lecturer in Medical Entomology, and I'm the Lead Educator for Preventing the Zika Virus: Understanding and Controlling the Aedes Mosquito. I'm also the Director of arctec at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where we develop and evaluate technologies aimed at controlling insects and other arthropods, particularly those of medical importance. We've gathered information and resources from experts in entomology, medicine, and public health. The course uses videos, articles, and discussions to introduce you to the Zika virus and the recent outbreaks into context with other vector borne diseases. Where has Zika could come from, what role does the Aedes mosquito have in its transmission, and, most importantly, how can we control it?

Skip to 1 minute and 28 secondsThe course is suitable for you if you are healthcare professional or working in a health organisation, a student taking a healthcare or science related degree, a public health advisor, anyone working in control programs for vector borne diseases, or anyone with an interest in learning about the Zika virus and the Aedes mosquito. It will last for three weeks, with each week focusing on a different topic from the virus itself, to the mosquito vector, and finally the control tools that are available.

About the course

The Zika virus is suspected to be the cause of cases of microcephaly in newborns in South America, and this outbreak has now been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. With global attention towards this disease increasing rapidly, it is becoming clear that there is limited knowledge around how the carriers, or vectors, of Zika, are best avoided and controlled.

Focus on the Zika virus

This free online course will begin by considering the science behind the outbreak to try to understand where the Zika virus has come from, its symptoms, and its effect on infected individuals. Our attention will then turn towards the vector primarily responsible for transmission of Zika: the Aedes mosquito.

Explore the biology of Aedes mosquitoes

We will introduce the Aedes mosquito and examine its lifecycle, behaviour, and distribution across the world, before reflecting upon the important role it plays in spreading Zika virus. Without a vaccine, prevention and control relies on reducing numbers of mosquitoes and the contact they have with people, so an understanding of the biology of Aedes is vital.

Discover vector control methods

A range of methods employed to control the Aedes mosquito will be highlighted, including the use, importance, and suitability of repellents, impregnated clothing, larval control, insecticide spraying, and insecticide treated nets. The vectors of Zika virus also transmit dengue, yellow fever and the chikungunya virus, meaning there is potential to apply these techniques in other settings.

Learn together and from those on the front line in South America

Learners will come from all over the world with their own diverse experiences and interests. You will have the opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas through course discussion, and hear first-hand accounts from experts and individuals working in the field in South America. Contributors include:

  • Dr Mary Cameron, Reader in Medical Entomology
  • Dr Jo Lines, Reader of Malaria Control and Vector Biology
  • Professor Laura Rodrigues, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and working with the Microcephaly Epidemic Research Group in Brazil
  • Professor Jimmy Whitworth, Professor of International Public Health.

¡Ven y aprende con nosotros! | Venha aprender conosco!

Subtítulos en Inglés, Español y Portugués serán disponibles para cada video. Estos se pueden encontrar haciendo clic en el icono en la parte inferior derecha de la ventana del reproductor. Transcripciones PDF, diapositivas y traducciones de páginas también serán disponibles en la sección ‘Downloads/Descargas’. Discusiones y avisos del curso, enviados al comienzo de la semana, estarán en Ingles solamente.

Versões com legendas em espanhol e português estarão disponíveis em todos os vídeos. Para alterar, click no ícone que aparece no canto direito da tela. PDF, slides e outros materiais traduzidos estarão também disponíveis para download na seção etapa relevantes. Discussões, avisos e informações enviadas no início de cada semana serão escritas apenas em inglês.


ARCTEC is an integral part of the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a world-leading independent test centre for consultancy and the evaluation and development of arthropod pest control technologies.


This course is designed for anyone with an interest in learning about Zika virus vector control. It is relevant to workers newly drafted into vector control work, NGO employees in affected countries, students taking a healthcare or science-related degree, medical students and postgraduates wishing to complement their studies, and academic staff in aligned disciplines.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.