What is the history of Zika virus outbreaks?

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Poster: Deskmate Editors
Article ID: 38
Views: 271
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Posted: Fri 03 Jun 2016
Approved: Yes


Zika virus (ZIKV) was first isolated and identified in the Zika Forest of Uganda in 1947. Studies suggest that humans in that area of Africa could also have been infected with the virus. From 1951-1981, blood tests showed evidence of Zika virus infections in many other African countries and Indonesia (Tanzania, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, for example), and researchers found that transmission of the virus to humans was done by mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti). In 2007, the virus was detected in Yap Island, the first report that the virus spread outside of Africa and Indonesia to Pacific Islands. The virus has continued to spread to North and South America (Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, and into the Caribbean islands from Aruba to Jamaica). The most recent outbreaks have been noted in Puerto Rico, Cape Verde Islands, and a large ongoing outbreak is occurring in Brazil that started in May 2015 and is ongoing. The first isolation of Zika virus in the U.S. occurred in January 2016 in Harris County (Houston), Texas, from an individual who became infected in El Salvador in November and returned to Texas. Although there have not been documented mosquito transmissions in the U.S., Texas and other states have two mosquito strains (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) that could be capable of transmitting the viruses (see maps below). The CDC also reports 354 individuals who had locally acquired infection (acquired through mosquito bites) in the U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and 346 travel-associated infections in the U.S. as of Apr. 6, 2016, but none due to mosquito bites in the U.S. The CDC expects these numbers to steadily increase.



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