Zika Epidemiology - Case Numbers
Most epidemiological investigations of Zika virus during the current epidemic in the Americas requires temporal human case data. The only place to gather this information is is from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), an arm of the World Health Organization. They present Zika virus case numbers in two ways: spreadsheets of cumulative case counts and bar graphs of weekly reported cases. The data from the cumulative case spreadsheets are easy to download and can be readily adapted for research purposes.
The Florida Department of Health kindly curated their Weekly Arbovirus Reports from 2016-2018 (last updated in June 2018) to build a database of travel-associated Zika virus cases to monitor for ongoing transmission throughout the Americas. The data is sorted by symptoms onset date (month) and origin of travel. Most of these cases were PCR positive and include both Florida residents and non-Florida residents that were seen/tested in Florida. There were some PCR positive cases in asymptomatic individuals that were not included. Those most often were pregnant women, and with the issues with possible prolonged viremia in this population, it is difficult to determine when they were actually exposed.
Disclaimer. Please note that this data is still based on work in progress and should be considered preliminary. If you intend to include any of these data in publications, please let us know – otherwise please feel free to download and use without restrictions. We have shared this data with the hope that people will download and use it, as well as scrutinize it so we can improve our methods and analyses. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments – we’ll buy beers for #ResearchParasites that spot flaws and faults in the data and come up with improvements!
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