14 cases of locally-transmitted Zika have been reported in Miami, Florida. These are the first cases of Zika to transmit locally via mosquitoes in the United States. A travel advisory to the area has been issued by the CDC, consistent with past travel advisories to areas of local Zika activity.
Live forecasts issued today by Ascel Bio show Zika risk has heightened in North Carolina and New Orleans. Ascel Bio’s forecasts show climate conditions now favor Aedes aegypti mosquito growth in these areas. Risk remains high on across south Florida, Texas, and Hawaii.
Patrick Wedlock, Ascel Bio’s senior forecasting officer states:
“Miami is not the only city at risk in the US. Climate conditions in a greater number of American cities now promote the breeding of Aedes aegypti, the most important vector for Zika virus. The concern of transmission of Zika in Miami should be a major wake up call. Until last week, Americans had only been infected by traveling outside of the US to Brazil and other countries. Now is the time for all cities at higher risk to Aedes aegypti to become proactive.”
In order for Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to actually transmit the disease, they must bite someone who has the disease, and as such, a person harboring the Zika virus must be present and bitten in one of these locations in order for local, mosquito-borne transmission to occur.