Health & Wellness
U.S. Cities at Risk from Zika Virus This Summer
U.S. Cities at Risk from Zika Virus This Summer
Apr 21, 2024 7:18 PM

Warm summer weather in the continental U.S. could come with an unwelcome addition this year: Zika virus.

The mosquito-transmitted disease, which has spread throughout parts of South America, Central America and the Caribbean, could become “increasingly abundant across much of the southern and eastern United States as the weather warms," according to a new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

In the paper, researchers analyzed the patterns of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also carries yellow fever and . The Aedes aegypti is found across much of the Southeastern, Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic states. In the winter, temperatures dip too low for the species to survive. But as weather warms, areas — particularly parts of Texas and Florida — could risk local virus transmission.

"This research can help us anticipate the timing and location of possible Zika virus outbreaks in certain U.S. cities," said NCAR scientist Andrew Monaghan, the lead author of the study, in a . "While there is much we still don't know about the dynamics of Zika virus transmission, understanding where theAedes aegyptimosquito can survive in the U.S., and how its abundance fluctuates seasonally may help guide mosquito control efforts and public health preparedness."

In the slideshow above, see the cities the researchers examined as part of their study on Aedes aegypti patterns, ranked from the lowest to the highest risk of locally acquired Zika cases.

Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947. Throughout the past 10 years, it has spread to the Americas, recently dominating news headlines because of a possible link between infection and birth defects, its long incubation period and other, less-understood risks. In the majority of cases, symptoms are mild and last for two to seven days, according to the .

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal.


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