Why Do So Many Infectious Diseases Pop Up in Dallas?

Dallas has seen cases of Ebola and West Nile – and now the Zika virus.

By Rhonda FanningFebruary 8, 2016 1:34 pm,

Is there a bull’s eye smack dab over Dallas when it comes to infectious diseases? The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. was in Dallas. It was the site of the largest outbreak of West Nile Virus in the U.S., and now the first case of sexually-transmitted Zika. Is it all just a coincidence or is there something more going on here?

Former Center for Disease Control epidemiologist Dr. Seema Yasmin, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, says she’s worked with other experts and local government officials to determine what factors make Dallas such a hotbed for diseases like these. Yasmin says the rare news of a sexually transmitted case of Zika in Dallas surprised her.

“In fact, there’s only been one other case of sexually transmitted Zika in the world, prior to this case in Dallas,” she says. “It’s almost like the city is in competition with the rest of the world.”

What you’ll hear in this segment: 

– How mathematics and government work together to spot infectious disease patterns in this area

– What role Dallas’s geography plays in disease transmission

– Why other major cities such as New York City, Atlanta, and Houston aren’t seeing the same patterns