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Soccer Brought Zika to Brazil

February 23, 2021 • 4:01 pm CST
(Zika News)

The South American country of Brazil experienced the greatest impact during the 2015-2016 Zika virus epidemic, with approximately 321,000 suspected or confirmed cases, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Kristina M. Adams Waldorf, M.D., a professor at the University of Washington, told said Healio in January 2021, Zika was likely imported to Brazil during a 2014 World Cup soccer competition the same year. “It took some time for the virus to become established and another period of time for children to be born from infected pregnancies,” commented Dr. Waldorf.

By the end of 2016, there were 22 countries and territories in the Americas reporting cases of congenital syndrome associated with more than 500,000 suspected cases of Zika, reports the PAHO.

The U.S. CDC says, 'There is no current local transmission of Zika virus in the continental USA, including Florida and Texas, which reported local transmission of Zika virus by mosquitoes in 2016-17.'

In California, Zika virus infections have been documented only in people who were infected while traveling to areas with ongoing Zika transmission, through sexual contact with an infected traveler, or through maternal-fetal transmission during pregnancy, says the state health department.