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Zapping Zika #2: active transmission in the U.S. by August 2016?
The Zika Virus has emerged as a major health threat in recent months.
Spread primarily by the Aedes Mosquito, Zika can also be spread from mother to child, through sexual contact, and through blood transfusion.
Zika is currently being trasmitted person-to-person in 44 countries and territories, but as of writing not in the continental US; several cases have been reported in the US, but these infections apparently took place overseas.
Given large traffic between the US and Zika-active countries and territories (including US Territory Puerto Rico), it only seems like a matter of time before Zika is being transmitted person-to-person via mosquitos in the US. But how much time?
Will the US be on the CDC's list of counties in which Zika is being actively transmitted by the end of August 2016?
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.