Impact of the 2016 Ecuador Earthquake on Zika Virus Cases

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Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the impact of the April 2016 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Ecuador on the incidence of Zika virus (ZIKV) cases.

Methods

We used the national public health surveillance system for reportable transmissible conditions and included suspected and laboratory-confirmed ZIKV cases. We compared the number of cases before and after the earthquake in areas closer to and farther from the epicenter.

Results

From January to July 2016, 2234 patients suspected of having ZIKV infection were reported in both affected and control areas. A total of 1110 patients had a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay, and 159 were positive for ZIKV. The cumulative incidence of ZIKV in the affected area was 11.1 per 100 000 after the earthquake. The odds ratio of having ZIKV infection in those living in the affected area was 8.0 (95% CI = 4.4, 14.6; P < .01) compared with the control area and adjusted for age, gender, province population, and number of government health care facilities.

Conclusions

A spike in ZIKV cases occurred after the earthquake. Patients in the area closest to the epicenter had a delay in seeking care.

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