Zika Virus Epidemic Could Be Over In Three Years, Research Suggests


The World Health Organization and the C.D.C. have urged pregnant women against travel to more than 45 countries in which the Zika virus is spreading, mostly in the Caribbean and Latin America.

"Zika has been connected to birth defects", said Dr. Karen Murphy, Department of Health secretary.

"The current explosive epidemic will burn itself out due to a phenomenon called herd immunity", Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London's School of Public Health, said in a statement.

Latin America's Zika epidemic could be over within three years, scientists have said.

They compared data from the virus' spread across Latin America to data on other viruses, including dengue.

The Department of Health late Wednesday revealed that 15 new cases of the Zika virus has been recorded in the territory through D.O.H.'s weekly surveillance report. He also tested positive Zika, and he had not traveled outside of the country, had sex with anyone else recently, or received any mosquito bites - removing the possibility that he would have contracted Zika from anyone other than her. Thanks to our immune systems, the mosquito-spread virus is unable to infect the same person twice, and a stage will be reached where there are too few people left to infect for the epidemic to continue.

She said the Puerto Rico study is the largest collection ever of bodily fluids from Zika patients.

Zika is predominately a mosquito-borne illness, although scientists are learning it can be transmitted sexually in rare cases.

Prof Ferguson added that efforts to slow the spread of the virus may backfire by prolonging the epidemic.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Zika.

"It might also mean that the window between epidemics could actually get shorter".

The grant to Birmingham-based Southern Research from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases could grow to $3.9 million over the next two years, according to a press release. "For example, the number of Chikungunya cases continued to rise and reached its highest level at about eight months", Health Commissioner Michelle Davis said concerning the spike. These centres would obtain, in advance, the lengthy legal and ethical approval needed for a trial.

However, Prof Ferguson said there were still many unanswered questions about Zika which could affect predictions.

DCLS began testing humans for Zika virus in April.

The study is the result of an global collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley (US), Public Health England, Porton Down (UK), the Policlinico San Matteo IRCCS, Pavia (IT), the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel (CH), and the Centre for Tropical Medicine, Ho Chi Minh City (VN).

He added: "There are now more questions surrounding Zika than answers - and only through a coordinated global research effort will we find the answers we desperately need".