Zika Outbreaks Possible But Will Dissipate Quickly
Good news for all Americans as likelihood of widespread zika outbreak risk in the country is low. This news according to a professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham.
University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Infectious Diseases professor emeritus David Freedman, M.D., said the density of mosquitoes in the country is not that high compared to other countries, thus making it not susceptible to widespread outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease.
“The concern for a widespread mosquito outbreak in the U.S. is not high.” – Dr. Freedman
The mosquito-borne disease is widely transmitted by a dense population of people and mosquitoes combined with poor garbage and sewage services, as well as stagnant water. Fortunately, the US does not have a large population for Zika virus to transmit proficiently.
Zika Virus Cannot Transmit Proficiently in the US
According to Dr. Freedman, the density of mosquitoes in the United States is much lower than in other countries.
“In order to sustain an epidemic, a large population of mosquitoes that are close together with a dense population of people is needed for Zika virus to transmit more efficiently.” – Dr. Freedman
But Dr. Freedman added that there is a likelihood of an outbreak in smaller communities but he suspects it will not linger for long.
US Prepares for Possible Outbreak
The US is on the highest level of alert especially as summer is here, when mosquitoes dominantly thrive in warmer and moist weather.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Emergency Operation Center is working 24/7 and advised travelers take precautions when returning to the United States, such as wearing insect repellent for three weeks after returning from countries with Zika transmission.
In addition, the department urged the American people to act now to curb the likelihood of local transmission by cleaning up mosquito breeding grounds, such as trash and standing water.