Zika Outbreak: How Likely in the U.S.?
Although weather conditions in the United States are becoming increasingly favorable for mosquitoes, experts believe socioeconomic factors in this country make a large-scale outbreak of Zika virus or other mosquito-borne diseases unlikely. However, smaller, localized outbreaks remain a concern.
Mosquitoes can transmit diseases in tropical and temperate climates—including the Northern U.S. in the summer months—but air conditioning, window screens, housing structure, good sanitation and water storage, and other factors are likely to help prevent a widespread outbreak of Zika. In the Southern U.S., a longer warm-weather season and more areas of lower socioeconomic living conditions may contribute to localized Zika outbreaks.
Threats to infrastructure and sanitation—from natural disasters, for example—could increase the risk for widespread Zika transmission in the United States. According to researchers, this is another reason to invest in infrastructure and disaster planning in this country.
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