The ongoing Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Americas has been a serious public health emergency since 2015. Since Zika is a vector-borne disease, the size of the vector population in the affected area plays a key role in controlling the scale of the outbreak. The primary vectors for Zika, the Aedes Agypti
and Aedes Albopictus
species of mosquitoes, are highly sensitive to climatic conditions for survival and reproduction. Additionally, increased international travel over the years has caused the disease outbreak to turn into a pandemic affecting five continents. The mosquito population and the human travel patterns are the two main driving forces affecting the persistence and resurgence of Zika and other vector-borne diseases. This paper presents an enhanced dynamic model that simulates the 2013–2014 French Polynesia Zika outbreak incorporating the temperature dependent mosquito ecology and the local transit network (flights and ferries). The study highlights the importance of human travel patterns and mosquito population dynamics in a disease outbreak. The results predict that more than 85% of the population was infected by the end of the outbreak and it lasted for more than five months across the islands. The basic reproduction number (
) for the outbreak is also calculated using the next-generation-matrix for validation purposes. Additionally, this study is focused on measuring the impact of intervention strategies like reducing the mosquito population, preventing mosquito bites and imposing travel bans. French Polynesia was chosen as the region of interest for the study because of available demographic, climate and transit data. Additionally, results from similar studies for the region are available for validation and comparison. However, the proposed system can be used to study the transmission dynamics of any vector-borne disease in any geographic region by altering the climatic and demographic data, and the transit network.
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