Host outdoor exposure variability affects the transmission and spread of Zika virus: Insights for epidemic control

Zika spread in urban environments is characterized by complicated spatio-temporal patterns, likely linked not only to mosquito density but also to human activity patterns. We conducted a survey on Miami-Dade County residents on time spent outdoors. We then analyzed the Miami-Dade survey data and previously published activity data on the entire U.S. population. Our findings indicate high variability in the amount of time spent outdoors by individual residents. Specifically, we found that the majority of persons spend little time outdoors whereas a few people spend a large amount of time outdoors. This analysis was further elaborated in a modeling framework, showing the effect of the host variability in outdoor time on relevant epidemiological indicators (such as the total number of cases and epidemic timing of spread).

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