SLU researchers predict Zika hotspots in US

Researchers from Saint Louis University have identified more than 500 areas at high-risk for Zika transmission.

To identify communities at high-risk for Zika transmission, researchers analyzed data on 3,108 counties in the U.S., and determined 507 to be high-risk zones for the possible transmission of Zika. The categorization of "high-risk" was determined by several factors, including the presence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, rates of sexually transmitted infections within the community, the amount of childbearing age in the community and estimated birth rates for each county.

"Our results also show that complications from the Zika virus are likely to overlap with impoverished counties with large minority populations where resources are more likely to be scarce to combat a large-scale Zika virus outbreak," said Enbal Shacham, PhD, an associate professor of behavioral science and health at SLU and one the study's lead researchers. "Enhanced vector control, Zika surveillance and clinical management in these higher-risk areas will be critical for reducing the impact of a sustained Zika virus outbreak that may potentially occur particularly among economically challenged populations and communities that are least equipped to handle an outbreak."

To see where the potential Zika hotspots are located, click here.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
Miami-Dade sees new locally acquired case of Zika 
WHO: Zika is still a threat 
Donated sperm in Miami area could be contaminated with Zika: 5 things to know

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