Zika epidemic likely to 'burn itself out' within 2 or 3 years

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To make them, a respected team of epidemiologists collected data on the rate at which the Zika virus, which incubates in the bellies of biting mosquitoes, spread through Brazil and marched northward through Latin America. The CDC recommends that all individuals planning to travel to Rio de Janeiro for the summer Games take the necessary infection prevention precautions during their trip, and refrain from actions which may allow for spread of infection (such as sexual intercourse- especially with a pregnant woman or a woman planning to become pregnant) for up to 3 weeks after returning from Brazil.

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.

A baby born in Harris County with an abnormally small head recently had the Zika virus, state health officials announced Wednesday.

The current Zika epidemic in Latin America is likely to be largely over within three years, a new study show. No known treatment or vaccine now exists for the virus.

The virus is unable to infect the same person twice, and so there comes a point when there are fewer and fewer people prone to infection.

That will mean Zika can't gain a foothold again in the Latin American population for at least a decade, when a new generation without exposure will emerge, the researchers said.

"With the exception of these four countries, the Games do not pose a unique or substantive risk for mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus in excess of that posed by non-Games travel", said CDC researchers, according to Vox. The rise in infants born with irreversible malformations has been most acute in Brazil, where some 7,438 suspected microcephaly cases have been reported as of May and 1,326 cases confirmed, the study found.

Another study published in the same issue of Science looks to the future of epidemic control, as well.

The history of Zika, which was discovered in Uganda in 1947, may provide valuable lessons for the current crisis in Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico and other parts of the Americas, said scientists from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

"I applaud the efforts of our state and local public health officials who are working diligently to stop the spread of Zika, and we will continue aggressive actions to prevent the spread of this virus in Virginia". But the question of how long the virus remains in the body remains unanswered. There have reportedly been six Zika-linked pregnancy losses such as miscarriages and abortions of fetuses with birth defects in the United States and its territories.

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