|Samy, A; Thomas, S M; Abd El Wahed, A; Cohoon, KP; Peterson, AT: Mapping the global geographic potential of Zika virus spread, Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 111(9), 559-560 (2016), doi:10.1590/0074-02760160149 [Link]|
The Americas are presently experiencing the most serious known outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV). Here, we present a novel set of analyses using environmental characteristics, vector mosquito distributions, and socioeconomic risk factors to develop the first map to detail global ZIKV transmission risk in multiple dimensions based on ecological niche models. Our model predictions were tested against independent evaluation data sets, and all models had predictive ability significantly better than random expectations. The study addresses urgent knowledge gaps regarding (1) the potential geographic scope of the current ZIKV epidemic, (2) the global potential for spread of ZIKV, and (3) drivers of ZIKV transmission. Our analysis of potential drivers of ZIKV distributions globally identified areas vulnerable in terms of some drivers, but not for others. The results of these analyses can guide regional education and preparedness efforts, such that medical personnel will be better prepared for diagnosis of potential ZIKV cases as they appear.
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