Zika Virus Update: New Map Predicts Spread of Disease

Admin | Published 2016-09-21 22:25
A group of international scientists led by the University of Kansas has published a detailed map in the journal Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz illustrating the places that are most likely to see Zika Virus disease cases. Lead author from the University of Kansas and the Ain Shams University in Cairo, Dr. Abdallah Samy said, “It’s the first detailed map that weighs different drivers of transmission. We assessed different combinations of variables to see what are the major drivers – such as climate, or socioeconomics or people’s ability to access certain areas – and in the final map we merge all the variables.” The map predicts the likelihood of Zika Virus exposure in the coming years. They segmented Earth’s landmasses into squares of 3.1x3.1 miles each and then crunched the numbers for each.   [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Image credit: Abdallah M. Samy et al. http://cdn.sci-news.com/images/enlarge3/image_4106_1e-Zika-Virus-Map.jpg[/caption]   Since Zika Virus can spread through contact with the Aedes mosquitoes, through blood transfusions, person-to-person via sexual contact, and mother-to-child during pregnancy, multiple factors actually influence the risk assessment. Dr. Samy added, “for each area, we asked, ‘is it mosquito exposure, climate or socioeconomic variables like accessibility for people to travel from areas where Zika is endemic and spread the virus upon their return?” “It’s also intended for the public. If you’re going to travel to a specific area in Brazil, and you know it’s a risk area for Zika, you should consider how to reduce the chances of transmission with clothing or insect repellant,” he added.
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