Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Surveillance Snapshot: Zika Virus Among Department of Defense Service Members and Beneficiaries, 2013–2022

Image of Yellow fever mosquito. Yellow Fever mosquito, a primary carrier of Zika virus

This graph presents 4 lines on the horizontal axis representing each service component that connect data points depicting the annual incidence rates of Zika virus infection per 100,000 person-years among Department of Defense service members and beneficiaries. A fifth line depicts the combined average case rate of all service members and beneficiaries. Rates for all services showed a sharp peak in 2016, declining rapidly thereafter. There were no Zika virus cases reported among Department of Defense service members or beneficiaries in 2021 or 2022.

Zika virus is an arboviral infection transmitted primarily through Aedes mosquitoes in tropical and subtropical regions. Although most infections are asymptomatic or mild, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can lead to infant complications and congenital abnormalities.1 In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 5,559 travel-associated and 231 locally-acquired Zika virus cases from 2015 to 2021.2 The majority of these cases (n=5,168) were identified in 2016, which translates to a peak of 1.6 confirmed or probable noncongenital Zika virus cases per 100,000 persons in the U.S.3,4

From January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2022, 212 Zika virus cases were detected among Department of Defense service members and beneficiaries. Zika virus’s presentation in the Western Hemisphere in early 20155 led to peak rates (n=143) for all services in 2016, which declined substantially thereafter, until no cases were identified among DOD beneficiaries from 2021 to 2022.

Zika virus cases described in this Snapshot reflect documentation from the Disease Reporting System-internet and laboratory records generated from the Composite Healthcare System. The DRSi Zika virus reporting option was not available until July 2017,6 and until then a medical event report from DRSi included those entered as “Any other unusual condition not listed” that contained case report notes indicating a positive Zika case. Cases indicated by laboratory records include culture identification, antigen detection, nucleic acid detection, and plaque reduction neutralization test detection. Immunoglobulin M-positive cases were included in the absence of PRNT testing.

The rates depicted in this figure were estimated from the number of service members and dependents most likely enrolled in TRICARE Prime, as DRSi reports and CHCS laboratory records primarily reflect individuals with Click to closeDirect CareDirect care refers to military hospitals and clinics, also known as “military treatment facilities” and “MTFs.”direct care at a military clinic or hospital. These population estimates do not clearly delineate risk for services more likely to deploy, travel, or live in assigned unit areas with endemic risk.

Author Affiliations

Defense Centers for Public Health—Portsmouth (Mr. Seliga, Ms. Touchstone, Mr. Matsumoto); Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (Mr. Matsumoto)

Disclaimers

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, the U.S. Government, nor the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. Kati Touchstone, Kenji Matsumoto, and Nicholas Seliga are employees of the U.S. Government. This work was prepared as part of their official duties. Title 17, U.S.C., §105 provides that copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the U.S. Government. Title 17, U.S.C., §101 defines a U.S. Government work as a work prepared by a military Service member or employee of the U.S. Government as part of that person’s official duties. This material is based upon work supported by the DOD Information Analysis Center Program Management Office, sponsored by the Defense Technical Information Center under Contract FA807518D0011.

References

  1. World Health Organization. Zika virus. Accessed January 25, 2023. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/zika-virus
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zika cases in the United States. Published January 13, 2023. Accessed February 14, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/zika/reporting/index.html
  3. Hall V, Walker WL, Lindsey NP, et al. Update: noncongenital zika virus disease cases–50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, 2016. MMWR. 2018;67(9):265-269.
  4. United States Census Bureau. American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate Data Tables, 2016. Accessed March 21, 2022. https://data.census.gov/table?tid=ACSDP5Y2016.DP05
  5. Poss DE, Writer JV, Harris S. Zika virus infections in Military Health System beneficiaries since the introduction of the virus in the Western Hemisphere, 1 January 2016 through 30 November 2016. MSMR. 2016;23(12):7-11.
  6. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. Zika virus. Updated December 2017. Accessed March 13, 2023. https://www.health.mil/Reference-Center/Publications/2017/12/01/Zika-Virus

You also may be interested in...

Report
Mar 1, 2024

MSMR Vol. 31 No. 3 - March 2024

.PDF | 1.34 MB

The March 2024 MSMR features a comparison of 2018 estimates from the HRBS and the PHA on tobacco and nicotine use among the U.S. military active component; followed by a report on coverage of HIV PrEP among active duty service members in 2023; supplemented by a Surveillance Snapshot of HIV PrEP prescriptions in 2023 in the active component; then a ...

Report
Oct 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 10 - October 2023

.PDF | 1.29 MB

The October 2023 Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR) provides a review of the incidence of colorectal cancer among active component service members from 2010 to 2022; followed by a study of force protection risks in AFRICOM, INDOPACOM, and SOUTHCOM due to rapid diagnostic test failures for P. falciparum malaria from 2016 to 2022; then an update ...

Report
Sep 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 9 - September 2023

.PDF | 1.30 MB

The September 2023 MSMR provides the annual update of routine screening for antibodies to HIV among the active and reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces; followed by a serological survey of Ross River virus (RRV) infection among U.S. Marine expeditionary forces who train in Australia; followed by a Surveillance Snapshot of the 10 leading ...

Report
Aug 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 8 - August 2023

.PDF | 1.02 MB

The August 2023 MSMR provides the most recent data from the active surveillance program for acute respiratory disease and Group A Beta-Hemolytic Streptococcus among U.S. Army basic trainees; then summarizes the case report of an extensively resistant E. coli in a returning traveler at Hawai'i's Tripler Army Medical Center; followed by a Surveillance ...

Report
Jul 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 7 - July 2023

.PDF | 1.30 MB

This continuation of the June issue, which published the annual quantification of health care provided by the Military Health System, continues with the impacts of various illnesses and injuries in 2022 among deployed service members; medical evacuations out of theaters of military operation; health care provision to non-service member MHS ...

Report
Jun 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 6 - June 2023

.PDF | 1.55 MB

This annual issue quantifies the impacts of various illnesses and injuries in 2022 among members of the active component of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as the U.S. Coast Guard; health care burden metrics include the total number of medical encounters, including hospitalizations and ambulatory services, as well as numbers and types of individuals ...

Report
May 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 5 - May 2023

.PDF | 1023.59 KB

The May 2023 MSMR reintroduces a monthly reportable medical event (RME) summary for the active component and MHS beneficiaries; then features a review of enhanced mpox outbreak case detection among MHS beneficiaries through ESSENCE (Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics); followed by a report on ...

Report
Feb 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 2 - February 2023

.PDF | 965.54 KB

This issue of the peer-reviewed monthly journal published by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD) features the articles: Changing of the Guard: MSMR’s Second Editor-in-Chief Retires; Brief Report: Hospitalizations Among Active Duty Members of the U.S. Coast Guard, Fiscal Year 2021; Historical Perspective: The Critical Role of Disease ...

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery