Introduction: The Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in the island nation of Cabo Verde was of unprecedented magnitude in Africa and the first to be associated with microcephaly in the continent.
Methods: Using a simple mathematical framework we present a first epidemiological assessment of attack and observation rates from 7,580 ZIKV notified cases and 18 microcephaly reports between July 2015 and May 2016.
Results: In line with observations from the Americas and elsewhere, the single-wave Cabo Verdean ZIKV epidemic was characterized by a basic reproductive number of 1.85 (95% CI, 1.5 – 2.2), with overall the attack rate of 51.1% (range 42.1 – 61.1) and observation rate of 2.7% (range 2.29 – 3.33).
Conclusion: Current herd-immunity may not be sufficient to prevent future small-to-medium epidemics in Cabo Verde. Together with a small observation rate, these results highlight the need for rapid and integrated epidemiological, molecular and genomic surveillance to tackle forthcoming outbreaks of ZIKV and other arboviruses.