Projected spread of Zika virus in the Americas

Q. Zhang, K. Sun, M. Chinazzi, A. Pastore y Piontti, N.E. Dean, D. Rojas, S. Merler, D. Mistry, P. Poletti, L. Rossi, M. Bray, M.E. Halloran, I. Longini and A. Vespignani.


We use a  data-driven global stochastic epidemic model to analyze the spread of the  Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Americas. The model has high spatial and temporal  resolution and integrates real-world demographic, human mobility,  socioeconomic, temperature, and vector density data. We estimate that the  first introduction of ZIKV to Brazil likely occurred between August 2013 and  April 2014 (90% credible interval). We provide simulated epidemic profiles of  incident ZIKV infections for several countries in the Americas through  February 2017. The ZIKV epidemic is characterized by slow growth and high  spatial and seasonal heterogeneity, attributable to the dynamics of the  mosquito vector and to the characteristics and mobility of the human  populations. We project the expected timing and number of pregnancies  infected with ZIKV during the first trimester and provide estimates of  microcephaly cases assuming different levels of risk as reported in empirical  retrospective studies. Our approach represents a modeling effort aimed at  understanding the potential magnitude and timing of the ZIKV epidemic and it  can be potentially used as a template for the analysis of future  mosquito-borne epidemics.

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