New outbreaks of Zika in the U.S. are imminent. Human nature dictates that many individuals will continue to revisit affected ‘Ground Zero’ patches, whether out of choice, work or family reasons − yet this feature is missing from traditional epidemiological analyses. Here we show that this missing visit-revisit mechanism is by itself capable of explaining quantitatively the 2016 human Zika outbreaks in all three Ground Zero patches. Our findings reveal counterintuitive ways in which this human flow can be managed to tailor any future outbreak's duration, severity and time-to-peak. Effective public health planning can leverage these results to impact the evolution of future outbreaks via soft control of the overall human flow, as well as to suggest best-practice visitation behavior for local residents.
Manrique, P. D., Beier, J. C., & Johnson, N. F. (2017). Simple visit behavior unifies complex Zika outbreaks. Heliyon, 3(12). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00482