The threat of new Zika infections was dying down because of herd immunity. Herd immunity provides indirect protection to individuals when a large enough proportion of the population become immune. Because mosquitoes acquire Zika virus from biting infected people, this herd immunity should also stop new mosquitoes from becoming infected with the virus. However, this recent study shows mosquitoes can acquire the virus from mating with other mosquitoes, potentially ensuring that mosquitoes continue to remain infective even after people in a geographic region are immune. The implication of this study is Zika could continue to be an issue to travelers and immigrants in endemic regions and not go away as expected.
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