Zika virus will burn itself out within 3 years thanks to herd

first_imgThe Rio 2016 Olympics begins in a little over two weeks. Athletes will be asking themselves two questions in the run up to their events, though – can I win and will I catch the Zika virus?It’s a question that has seen some athletes decide not to attend, and it’s safe to assume more than a few people considering traveling to Rio to watch the best athletes in the world compete have changed their minds. Anyone who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant definitely shouldn’t travel to Rio due to the serious birth defects it can cause.Zika virus capsid, colored per chainsZika is an epidemic in Latin America and will continue to spread, but for how long and how far across the globe? According to a team at the Imperial College London, Zika will burn itself out within 3 years. And that could happen as soon as the end of 2017.We have herd immunity to thank for the promised short life of the Zika disaster. Herd immunity basically means that once a person is infected they can’t be infected again, so before long there’s not enough people left to infect to continue the spread of the virus. In fact, the spread may actually stop before a vaccine is ready.Zika won’t disappear, and it could reappear elsewhere for a new population creating a new epidemic several years from now. But if that does happen, then hopefully the vaccine currently being developed will be ready meaning the spread is contained quickly. On the other hand, certain areas of the world are taking their own measures in case of a Zika outbreak. In New York, that means bats.last_img