Zika Virus Spreads with Increased Amount of Time People Spent Outside


According to the findings published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the spread of Zika virus has the direct correlation with the amount of time spent outdoors. These conclusions are based on the new research carried out in Miami-Dade County, Florida. No matter people spend all day outside or those who rarely see sunshine, the number of hours spent outdoors is directly related to the Zika suffers, they report.

The Aedes mosquitos carry the Zika virus; these mosquitos are habitats in select tropical and subtropical parts of the world. The spread of Zika virus in the developing countries is often transmitted indoors while as in the U.S, it spread outdoors. Hence, the local patterns of people spending their time outdoors are dependent on the spread of mosquito-borne viruses, including Zika. 

In the study, researchers surveyed 270 residents to determine Zika transmission dynamics correlation with time spent outdoors by people. Marco Ajelli, of the Northeastern University, and colleagues of the University of Miami led the study in which they considered the residents from Miami-Dade County Florida. In addition to this data, they analyzed previously published national data on outdoors time.

The amount of time spent by the Miami-Dade County people were analyzed, the researchers found that time spent highly varied. Many residents spent less than two hours a day outdoors while as certain people spent most of the time outside. Their modelling then revealed that this heterogeneity leads Zika virus to infect fewer individuals, but spreads rapidly among people. The comparison was amongst a hypothetical population in which all spent the same, average amount of time outdoors.

Researchers report that these findings highlight the need to derive new indices to be considered by operational mosquito control programs, categorizing neighbourhoods by both mosquito surveillance counts and human outdoor exposure risk. "Operation control efforts could be prioritized and directed toward areas characterized by high levels of human outdoor activities, such as recreational areas and tourist attractions, rather than, for instance, on residential areas."

“The chances of spreading Zika are more in people spending more time outside.”