Tracking the Zika Virus Online: How Google Mapped the Start of an Outbreak

Miami and Washington, D.C,. top the cities with most Google searches for Zika.

In total, more than 1,300 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the Zika virus, according to the CDC. The vast majority of those contracted the disease while in a country with ongoing Zika virus transmission. In rare cases, the virus was transmitted through sexual contact.

While Zika infections usually result in mild symptoms, including fever, rash and pink eye, it's been found to cause serious birth defects, according to the CDC.

Cities that are most concerned about the virus tend to be in states with some of the highest number of Zika diagnoses, with Miami and Washington, D.C., currently topping the list.

When people did search on the topic of Zika, they were overwhelmingly looking to understand what exactly the virus was, according to Google News. Here are the top three Zika-related searches in the U.S.

  • 1. What are the symptoms of Zika?
  • 2. What is the Zika virus?
  • 3. What is microcephaly?