Role of short-term dispersal on the dynamics of Zika virus in an extreme idealized environment

Victor M. Moreno, Baltazar Espinoza, Derdei Bichara, Susan A. Holechek, Carlos Castillo-Chavez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In November 2015, El Salvador reported their first case of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection, an event followed by an explosive outbreak that generated over 6000 suspected cases in a period of two months. National agencies began implementing control measures that included vector control and recommending an increased use of repellents. Further, in response to the alarming and growing number of microcephaly cases in Brazil, the importance of avoiding pregnancies for two years was stressed. In this paper, we explore the role of mobility within communities characterized by extreme poverty, crime and violence. Specifically, the role of short term mobility between two idealized interconnected highly distinct communities is explored in the context of ZIKV outbreaks. We make use of a Lagrangian modeling approach within a two-patch setting in order to highlight the possible effects that short-term mobility, within highly distinct environments, may have on the dynamics of ZIKV outbreak when the overall goal is to reduce the number of cases not just in the most affluent areas but everywhere. Outcomes depend on existing mobility patterns, levels of disease risk, and the ability of federal or state public health services to invest in resource limited areas, particularly in those where violence is systemic. The results of simulations in highly polarized and simplified scenarios are used to assess the role of mobility. It quickly became evident that matching observed patterns of ZIKV outbreaks could not be captured without incorporating increasing levels of heterogeneity. The number of distinct patches and variations on patch connectivity structure required to match ZIKV patterns could not be met within the highly aggregated model that is used in the simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-34
Number of pages14
JournalInfectious Disease Modelling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Multi-patch model
  • Residence times
  • Vector-borne diseases
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Applied Mathematics


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