One way that has proven very useful for the investigations of uncertain infectious disease is through the use of models. Island populations with diseases are usually god model settings due to several factors including, the defined population, no-circulation of other pathogens, short, well identified episode of outbreak.
Dengue and Zika are both transmitted by the same mosquitos, Aedes aegypti and Aedes hensili, but dengue has been around for a longer time period, and thus it’s properties of transmission are more thoroughly described. Dengue is a major diseases worldwide, causing 50-100 million cases per year and around 10,000 deaths. Zika, an emerging infection, is being investigated due to the teratogenic effect that it can have on fetus. It is also part of the Flaviviridae family and causes largely asymptomatic to mild infection and a non-itchy rash. The major issues have been surrounding the impacts in can have on fetuses.
During this model there was the comparison of three different outbreaks on the Yap Main Islands. These islands are part of the Federal States of Micronesia and consist of four islands with about 7,000 inhabitants. The out breaks compared included two of dengue and one of Zika. The Yap Main Islands provide a good model site due to the nature of the populations that were infected. Ultimately, they found that dengue outbreaks are a good model for Zika outbreaks when considered in the same setting, such as the island. However, precaution must be taken when comparing in other settings.
· Gianna Nino-Tapias (’18)
· Funk, S et al. Comparative Analysis of Dengue and Zika Outbreaks Reveals Differences by Setting and Virus. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2016). 1-16.