"The literature on dengue fever and climate change is instructive," Amy Vittor, a doctor who studies mosquito-borne diseases at the University of Florida, said. "Dengue uses the same mosquito vector. If you have an increase in temperatures, you may see an increase in range of mosquitoes and the spread of virus. However, in some areas where vector is thriving, you might have a decrease because it gets too warm."
A 2013 study showed that West Nile virus season in the United States could become longer as temperatures warm. It also showed, however, that warming could cook mosquitoes out of some of their current range.
Vittor said another factor in some mosquito-borne diseases is relative humidity and that future changes in it are currently unaccounted for in most climate models.
A switch to La Niña conditions next year could help the virus spread further. Models indicate that the current El Niño could be done by summer and the odds favor it being replaced by La Niña.
That wouldn't be the end of the Zika virus, though. In fact, a La Niña could help the virus spread to other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.