Which cities are vulnerable to a Zika outbreak?

South Florida remains a likely place in the United States for a Zika virus outbreak by the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

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A study shows South Florida, Puerto Rico and Hawaii are the most likely hot spots for a Zika outbreak this summer.

So far, the nearly 260 people who have gotten the illness in the United States were travelers to Latin America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A recent study in the journal PLOS Currents found 50 U.S. cities where the blood-sucking insect would be able to survive, maybe even thrive, in the upcoming summer months. Nine of those cities are home to 14 million people.

According to this Washington Post map, South Florida is a likely target for Aedes aegypti but even New York City isn’t out of reach. Other places such as Puerto Rico and Hawaii have already been identified as likely hot spots.

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The Washington Post map showing most vulnerable cities for a Zika outbreak this summer.

 

Researchers say the study provides only a “baseline risk” level for the country as public health officials gear up for the mosquitoes’ likely arrival.

 

 

By mid-summer, conditions across the entire southern half of the United States are suitable for Aedes aegypti to thrive, particularly in the Southeast.

The Zika virus has been linked to a range of birth defects, including a condition which causes children to be born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains and Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can lead to paralysis.

“There is nothing about Zika control that is quick or easy,” Centers for Disease Control Director Thomas Frieden said earlier this month during a call with reporters. “The only thing quick is the mosquito bite that can give it to you.”
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