Zika epidemic likely to 'burn itself out' in 'three years'

Morris Officials Will Be Briefed Wednesday On Efforts To Combat The Zika Virus

Zika epidemic likely to 'burn itself out' in 'three years'

At a slower rate and with seasonal ebb and flow, the Zika virus' march across the Americas, they reckon, will likely grind to a halt.

After Latin America's current Zika epidemic goes to ground, the group's epidemiological model suggests that another epidemic spread of Zika in the Americas is unlikely for "at least a decade".

"Because the virus is unable to infect the same person twice - thanks to the immune system generating antibodies to kill it - the epidemic reaches a stage where there are too few people left to infect for transmission to be sustained", study author Neil Ferguson of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London said in a statement. The number of Zika cases has almost quadrupled since May, Gizmodo reported. The territorial account of the virus stands at 47. However, in May, Texas health officials reported the first locally acquired case, according to Time magazine. However, the virus can cause a mild illness with symptoms such as a rash or fever. But, maternal infection in pregnancy can trigger microcephaly, a condition where babies are born with too-small heads and neurological issues. And Zika, which has been determined to cause brain abnormalities in gestating fetuses, has been blamed.

Virginia health officials say they will extend testing for the Zika virus in mosquitoes to the Hampton Roads region.

Ferguson explained: "The current explosive epidemic will burn itself out due to a phenomenon called herd immunity".

The Zika virus is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, but the team cautioned any large-scale government programmes to target the mosquitoes may have limited impact. Nonetheless, the CDC still advises that pregnant women should not travel to Brazil for the summer games.

CDC advised pregnant women not to travel to the Games.

Those projections came in two articles published Thursday in the journal Science.

The Zika epidemic in Latin America could be over within three years, say scientists.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on mosquito-borne diseases.

He added any efforts to slow spread of the virus may in fact prolong the current epidemic: "Slowing transmission between people means the population will take longer to reach the level of herd immunity needed for transmission to stop".

By protecting more of the population in Zika's path from becoming uninfected, aggressive mosquito control could also leave a larger share of people uninoculated.

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