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Zika infections drastically underreported during 2015 epidemic

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  • Zika infections drastically underreported during 2015 epidemic

    by Jessica Sieff
    October 01, 2020

    More than 100 million infections of Zika virus within Central and South America and the Caribbean went undetected between 2015 and 2018, according to a new study.

    The University of Notre Dame researchers who conducted the study, published in the Public Library of Science journal for Neglected Tropical Diseases, said the results show a need for improvements to current infectious disease surveillance systems. The study also provides insight into the potential severity of future outbreaks and the current state of herd immunity of Zika in the West.

  • #2
    Leveraging multiple data types to estimate the size of the Zika epidemic in the Americas

    Sean M. Moore ,Rachel J. Oidtman,K. James Soda,Amir S. Siraj,Robert C. Reiner Jr.,Christopher M. Barker,
    T. Alex Perkins

    Published: September 28, 2020

    This is an uncorrected proof.


    Several hundred thousand Zika cases have been reported across the Americas since 2015. Incidence of infection was likely much higher, however, due to a high frequency of asymptomatic infection and other challenges that surveillance systems faced. Using a hierarchical Bayesian model with empirically-informed priors, we leveraged multiple types of Zika case data from 15 countries to estimate subnational reporting probabilities and infection attack rates (IARs). Zika IAR estimates ranged from 0.084 (95% CrI: 0.067–0.096) in Peru to 0.361 (95% CrI: 0.214–0.514) in Ecuador, with significant subnational variability in every country. Totaling infection estimates across these and 33 other countries and territories, our results suggest that 132.3 million (95% CrI: 111.3-170.2 million) people in the Americas had been infected by the end of 2018. These estimates represent the most extensive attempt to determine the size of the Zika epidemic in the Americas, offering a baseline for assessing the risk of future Zika epidemics in this region.