Despite reassurance from U.S. health officials that the Zika virus doesn’t pose a serious threat to the U.S., a new report suggests that as many as 50 cities in the country are at risk for local transmission this summer. The report, published in PLOS Currents Outbreaks on March 16 by the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research (UCAR), finds factors such heat, humidity and heavy rains in the summertime will provide an ideal climate for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to thrive in the States. UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of more than 100 colleges and universities in North America that focus research and training on the atmosphere and related earth system sciences.

For the report, researchers from NCAR and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center analyzed travel patterns from countries with current outbreaks in Latin America and the Caribbean. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued travel notices for at least 40 countries and territories in these regions of that world that have reported local transmission of the Zika virus. READ MORE