Zika’s Alarming Spread


Recently there have been confirmed cases of the Zika virus in the United States and because of this the CDC has issued advisory warning to pregnant women to avoid countries that have high rates of infection. The Zika virus is mosquito borne and potentially linked to a rare syndrome known as Guillain-Barré and microcephaly, a rare birth condition.

How this connects to what we have been discussing in class is that it in a broad sense shows the concept of the strength of ties and the structure of networks through the tracking of infectious disease. According to the Washington Post the epicenter of this outbreak is Brazil and so it has the largest cluster of infected persons. Some of those that have traveled to Brazil have then been infected and subsequently traveled back to their country of origin infecting their population. We see that countries with tropical climates have higher infection rates likely due to the climate being favorable to mosquitoes. What we see is interweaving networks of people who have visited countries that have high rates of Zika outbreaks and mosquitoes populations. Additionally the CDC has mentioned they fear now that the Zika virus cases have appeared in the U.S. that there would be a rapid spread of the virus show casing that the CDC is aware of how the densely connected networks of urban cities presents a challenge in preventing the spread of contagious diseases.