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Zapping Zika #3: 1 million infections in US and its territories by 2018?
The Zika Virus has emerged as a major global health threat in recent months.
Since the recognition in April 2015 of the initial outbreak in Brazil, Zika has quickly spread, with active transission in many countries in South and Central America as well as several in Southeast Asia
The habitat of its primary vector, the Aedes mosquito, includes (according to this map) tropical and temperate regions worldwide, including much of the Southeast US, parts of Africa and Southern Europe, swathes of India, Southeast Asia and Oceana, suggesting that the disease could spread much farther.
Current numbers are hard to come by, but as of Jan 22, this compendium showed an estimated 1.5M cases worldwide, dominated by Brazil but with thousands of cases each in Colombia, El Salvador, Venezuela, and Honduras.
This question concerns how quickly Zika will spread and grow during the next 1.5 years, and focuses on the US where reporting and projections by the CDC can be assumed to be relatively accurate.
A key question regards Puerto Rico, which currently has active Zika transmission along with a severe financial crisis. As of mid-April 2016, The CDC projects that 25% of Puerto Rico's 3.5M population could be come infected, with up to 80% eventually infected. High traffic between Puerto Rico (as well as Mexico) and the US suggests US mosquito-borne infection is just a matter of time.
Will there be CDC estimate that more than 1 million US citizens (including territories such as Puerto Rico) have been infected by Zika by the end of 2017?
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Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.