BACKGROUND: Given the interconnectivity of Brazil with the rest of the world, Zika virus (ZIKV) infections have the potential to spread rapidly around the world via viremic travellers. The extent of spread depends on the travel volume and the endemicity in the exporting country. In the absence of reliable surveillance data, we did mathematical modelling to estimate the number of importations of ZIKV from Brazil into Europe.
DESIGN: We applied a previously developed mathematical model on importations of dengue to estimate the number of ZIKV importations into Europe, based on the travel volume, the probability of being infected at the time of travel, the population size of Brazil, and the estimated incidence of ZIKV infections.
RESULTS: Our model estimated between 508 and 1,778 imported infections into Europe in 2016, of which we would expect between 116 and 355 symptomatic Zika infections; with the highest number of importations being into France, Portugal and Italy.
CONCLUSIONS: Our model identified high-risk countries in Europe. Such data can assist policymakers and public health professionals in estimating the extent of importations in order to prepare for the scale up of laboratory diagnostic assays and estimate the occurrence of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, potential sexual transmission, and infants with congenital ZIKV syndrome.
2016. Vol. 9, 1-7 p., 31669