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Introduction: The Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in the island nation of Cabo Verde was of unprecedented magnitude in Africa and the first to be associated with microcephaly in the continent. Methods: Using a simple mathematical framework we present a first epidemiological assessment of attack and observation rates from 7,580 ZIKV notified cases and 18 microcephaly reports between July 2015 and May 2016. Results: In line with observations from the Americas and elsewhere, the single-wave Cabo Verdean ZIKV epidemic was characterized by a basic reproductive number of 1.85 (95% CI, 1.5 - 2.2), with overall the attack rate of 51.1% (range 42.1 - 61.1) and observation rate of 2.7% (range 2.29 - 3.33). Conclusion: Current herd-immunity may not be sufficient to prevent future small-to-medium epidemics in Cabo Verde. Together with a small observation rate, these results highlight the need for rapid and integrated epidemiological, molecular and genomic surveillance to tackle forthcoming outbreaks of ZIKV and other arboviruses.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS Curr

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