As health ministries across South and Central America scramble to educate the public about Zika, Jamaica has come up with what may be the catchiest approach: a dancehall tune about the mosquito-borne virus.
"We Nuh Want ZIKV," a reggae song from Jamaica's health ministry, warns the public to get rid of standing water around their homes where mosquitoes could lay eggs. The type of mosquito that carries Zika — the Aedes aegypti — is remarkably well-adapted to breed in tiny pools of water that collect in things like tires or flower pots. So these measures are thought to be crucial in combating the virus.
The health ministry also warns pregnant women to take extra measures to avoid getting bitten. That's because researchers suspect the virus may cause birth defects in fetuses, and with no vaccine or cure, the only way women can avoid potential harm is by not getting bitten.
One place the video falls short: It doesn't broach the issue of other potential modes of Zika transmission, like sex. There's increasing evidence to suggest Zika can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, which can also put pregnant women at risk.
The latest research, out of England, suggests Zika can live in semen for at least 60 days, though it's unclear whether the semen is infectious for that whole period. Still, the evidence was enough to spur health officials in America and the UK to warn people who have been in areas where Zika is circulating to practice safe sex. They didn't, however, do it through a fun reggae video — no one is perfect.