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Mapping Out the Zika Virus

April 28th, 2016

The time of reckoning is approaching fast. The summer is almost upon us, and experts predict that the warm weather and moisture from the spring rains are going to bring out hordes of mosquitos, including the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the Zika virus. In an attempt to better understand the virus and try to predict where it might spread and when, NASA has teamed up with experts at a number of other institutes to create a map that will forecast the possible spread of the Zika virus in the United States.

To create the “Zika risk map,” the research team studied key factors that contribute to the spread of the Zika virus such as temperature, rainfall, and socioeconomic factors. With this map they hope to better understand when and where outbreaks may occur. It will help our government and health organizations get a jump on the virus so they can better prepare for the possible outbreaks.

The main prediction the team came up with is that much of the south and the east parts of the United States will likely be hot spots for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, especially as the weather gets warmer in those areas in the upcoming months. The summer weather conditions are ideal for mosquitos from New York city along the East Coast all the way down and across the southern edge of the country to Phoenix and Los Angeles.

Do you live in any of these parts of the country? How will you prepare for the Zika virus?

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