JUL 15, 2016 02:57 PM PDT

Has the Zika Virus Peaked in Latin America?

WRITTEN BY: Julianne Chiaet

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The Zika epidemic will most likely be over within the next couple years in Latin America, according to a paper published in Science on July 14.

The researchers at the Imperial College London created a timeline predicting the number of Zika infections in Latin America over the next five decades. The graph shows that the epidemic will end within the next 5 years and then, in around 30 years, another Zika outbreak may occur (although not as severe). That said, the researchers say they cannot guarantee there won't be another Zika outbreak for another 30 years. They do, however, believe the lull could last at least 10 years.

Zika has "been burning through the population," said co-author Neil Ferguson. "Sooner or later, it starts to run out of people to infect."

"It's an important and timely analysis," says infectious disease researcher Oliver Pybus of the University of Oxford. "Policymakers would be wise to read it carefully."

Sources: Science News, wochit News via YouTube
About the Author
  • Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to Jchiaet.com
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