Quantifying the risk of local Zika virus transmission in the contiguous US during the 2015-2016 ZIKV epidemic

Sun, Kaiyuan, Zhang, Qian, Pastore-Piontti, Ana, Chinazzi, Matteo, Mistry, Dina, Dean, Natalie E., Rojas, Diana Patricia, Merler, Stefano, Poletti, Piero, Rossi, Luca, Halloran, M. Elizabeth, Longini, Ira M., and Vespignani, Alessandro (2018) Quantifying the risk of local Zika virus transmission in the contiguous US during the 2015-2016 ZIKV epidemic. BMC Medicine, 16. 195.

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Abstract

Background: Local mosquito-borne Zika virus (ZIKV) transmission has been reported in two counties in the contiguous United States (US), prompting the issuance of travel, prevention, and testing guidance across the contiguous US. Large uncertainty, however, surrounds the quantification of the actual risk of ZIKV introduction and autochthonous transmission across different areas of the US.

Methods: We present a framework for the projection of ZIKV autochthonous transmission in the contiguous US during the 2015-2016 epidemic using a data-driven stochastic and spatial epidemic model accounting for seasonal, environmental, and detailed population data. The model generates an ensemble of travel-related case counts and simulates their potential to have triggered local transmission at the individual level in the 2015-2016 ZIKV epidemic.

Results: We estimate the risk of ZIKV introduction and local transmission at the county level and at the 0.025° × 0.025° cell level across the contiguous US. We provide a risk measure based on the probability of observing local transmission in a specific location during a ZIKV epidemic modeled after the epidemic observed during the years 2015-2016. The high spatial and temporal resolution of the model allows us to generate statistical estimates of the number of ZIKV introductions leading to local transmission in each location. We find that the risk was spatially heterogeneously distributed and concentrated in a few specific areas that account for less than 1% of the contiguous US population. Locations in Texas and Florida that have actually experienced local ZIKV transmission were among the places at highest risk according to our results. We also provide an analysis of the key determinants for local transmission and identify the key introduction routes and their contributions to ZIKV transmission in the contiguous US.

Conclusions: This framework provides quantitative risk estimates, fully captures the stochasticity of ZIKV introduction events, and is not biased by the under-ascertainment of cases due to asymptomatic cases. It provides general information on key risk determinants and data with potential uses in defining public health recommendations and guidance about ZIKV risk in the US.

Item ID: 60726
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1741-7015
Keywords: Computational modeling, Risk assessment, Zika virus, epidemiology
Copyright Information: © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, andreproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link tothe Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver(http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated
Funders: National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study
Projects and Grants: NIGMS U54GM111274, NIH supplement Grant R01 AI102939-05
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 02:42
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 25%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110309 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
01 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 0104 Statistics > 010402 Biostatistics @ 25%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 100%
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