Zika Virus, Lyme Disease, And Influenza Characteristics

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Zika Virus

Lyme Disease


The disease is limited to humans?

  • No- It can be transmitted through mosquitos and when they bite you.  [1: Overview Zika Virus, 2019.]
  • No- It can be transmitted through ticks.
  • Yes- It is spread by human to human contact. [2: Influenza (Flu), 2020.]

Limited to persistence in the environment?

  • No- It can be transmitted through mosquitos.
  • No- It can be transmitted through ticks.
  • This can be either yes or no [3: If a person coughs or sneezes the droplets can get into the air and a person may inhale them. Also, if a person touches a surface that has the virus on it and then touches their face they can get the virus (Influenza (Flu), 2020). Even though this is possible it is less likely to occur. ]

Absence of long-term carrier state?

  • Yes [4: a person does not already have the virus in them and once a person is infected they cannot get it again.]
  • Yes [5: There is no carrier of this virus already within humans. When a tick bites you, the virus is then brought over to the human and the person becomes infected. Lyme Disease, 2019.]
  • No [6: There are different strands of the virus and once you get one does not make you immune to the others.]

Long-term immunity results from infection?

  • Yes- Once a person has had Zika virus they are immune to it in the future. [7: Overview Zika Virus, 2019.]
  • No- You can be infected again after already having it. [8: Lyme Disease, 2019.]
  • No [9: Since new forms of the disease are always occurring, a person may get the flu if they have had it before. There are different strains of the flu that a person can get (Riegelman & Kirkwood, 2019).]

Does vaccination confer long-term immunity?

  • No- “there is no vaccine to prevent Zika” [10: Overview Zika Virus, 2019. To protect from Zika, you should try to protect yourself from mosquito bites. ]
  • There is no vaccine.
  • No – The disease continues to change, and new vaccines are needed each year. [11: Riegelman & Kirkwood, 2019]

Does herd immunity prevent the perpetuation of an epidemic?

  • No [12: It is not transmitted through people unless someone who gets it is pregnant or through sex. It is spread through mosquitos. Overview Zika Virus, 2019]
  • No [13: Lyme disease is transmitted from a tick to a human. Lyme Disease, 2019.]
  • No [14: Even if many of the people around you have the vaccine, that does not mean they are immune to the virus. People who have gotten the flu shot can still get the virus and it can spread onto those who do not have the virus. (Influenza (Flu), 2020).]

Easily diagnosed disease?

  • No [15: Many people do not show symptoms at all. Others experience very mild symptoms. ]
  • Yes, if you experience symptoms after you had a tick bite then you should seek help. [16: Lyme Disease, 2019.]
  • No [17: Just because you have the symptoms of the flu does not mean you actually have the flu. Many respiratory illnesses have very similar symptoms, so more testing needs to be done in order to tell if you have the flu (Influenza (Flu), 2020).]

Vaccination effective postexposure?

  • No, there is no vaccine
  • There is no vaccine.
  • Yes [18: Once you get the flu, you still can get the flu shot. It can help protect you from other strands of the flu while also protecting from getting the flu again (Influenza (Flu), 2020).]

Out of the three diseases I discussed above, I believe that the Zika virus is most likely to be eradicated. This virus has a very specific way of transmission that occurs only in mosquitos that are affected. So, if you get bit by a mosquito that does not mean that you will automatically get the Zika virus. According to the CDC, in the past year there have been no confirmed Zika virus disease cases reported in the united States and territories”. Also, if you look at the map that shows where Zika is currently occurring there are no Zika outbreaks. People can take many preventative measures to help keep them safe from the Zika virus including avoiding countries that have the likelihood of a Zika outbreak and wearing protective clothing from mosquitos. On the other hand, there is no vaccine that can prevent the Zika virus. Many communicable diseases that were once preventable by vaccines are starting to reappear as people are no longer getting vaccinated. Vaccines can prevent diseases form occurring and it can eliminate diseases from occurring again. People deciding to not get vaccinated are allowing for the chance for preventable diseases to make a comeback which can an effect on the whole population. [19: Overview Zika Virus, 2019] [20: Overview Zika Virus, 2019] [21: “Staying healthy, preventing disease: The importance of vaccines”]


  1. Influenza (Flu). (2020, February 14). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm
  2. Lyme Disease. (2019, December 16). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html
  3. Overview Zika Virus. (2019, October 7). Retrieved from
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/overview.html
  5. Riegelman, R., & Kirkwood, B. (2019). Public Health 101: Improving Community Health.
  6. Burlington, MA: Jones et Bartlett Learning.
  7. Staying healthy, preventing disease: The importance of vaccines. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.getreadyforflu.org/VaccinesGeneral.htm

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