The epidemiology and transmissibility of Zika virus in Girardot and San Andres island, Colombia, September 2015 to January 2016

DP Rojas, NE Dean, Y Yang, E Kenah, J Quintero, S Tomasi, EL Ramirez, Y Kelly, C Castro, G Carrasquilla, ME Halloran, IM Longini


July 14, 2016


Transmission of Zika virus (ZIKV) was first detected in Colombia in September 2015. As of April 2016, Colombia had reported over 65,000 cases of Zika virus disease (ZVD). We analysed daily surveillance data of ZVD cases reported to the health authorities of San Andres and Girardot, Colombia, between September 2015 and January 2016. ZVD was laboratory-confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in the serum of acute cases within five days of symptom onset. We use daily incidence data to estimate the basic reproductive number (R0) in each population. We identified 928 and 1,936 reported ZVD cases from San Andres and Girardot, respectively. The overall attack rate for reported ZVD was 12.13 cases per 1,000 residents of San Andres and 18.43 cases per 1,000 residents of Girardot. Attack rates were significantly higher in females in both municipalities (p < 0.001). Cases occurred in all age groups with highest rates in 20 to 49 year-olds. The estimated R0 for the Zika outbreak was 1.41 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15–1.74) in San Andres and 4.61 (95% CI: 4.11–5.16) in Girardot. Transmission of ZIKV is ongoing in the Americas. The estimated R0 from Colombia supports the observed rapid spread.