Scientists Predict Zika Outbreak to Last 2 or 3 Years
According to British scientists, the current Zika virus outbreak in Latin America should come to an end within the next 2 to 3 years. Researchers estimate that—because people develop immunity to Zika after being infected and infections are becoming so widespread—more and more people will become immune to the virus.
This phenomenon, which is called "herd immunity," occurs when a large portion of a population develops immunity to a virus, either through exposure or vaccination. Widespread immunity helps prevent outbreaks.
Scientists believe that once this current outbreak of Zika in Latin America burns itself out, it's more likely that the next 10 years or so will bring smaller, intermittent outbreaks rather than additional widespread epidemics. Interstingly, efforts to control the mosquito population that spreads the virus may actually delay and prolong the outbreak, according to researchers.
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