Zika: the origin and spread of a mosquito-borne virus

KINDHAUSER, Mary Kay
ALLEN Tomas
FRANK Veronika
SANTHANAA Ravi Shankar
DYE Christopher
Publication Date 
September 2016
15 p, ill

The temporal and geographical distribution of Zika virus infection and associated neurological disorders, from 1947 to 1 February 2016, when Zika became a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) are described following an extensive literature search. During this period a total of 74 countries and territories had reported human Zika virus infections. The timeline in this paper charts the discovery of the virus (1947), its isolation from mosquitos (1948), the first human infection (1952), the initial spread of infection from Asia to a Pacific island (2007), the first known instance of sexual transmission (2008), reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome (2014) and microcephaly (2015) linked to Zika infections and the first appearance of Zika in the Americas (from 2015). The paper concludes that the Zika virus infection in humans appears to have changed in character as its geographical range has expanded from equatorial Africa and Asia. The change is from an endemic, mosquito-borne infection causing mild illness to one that can cause large outbreaks linked with neurological sequelae and congenital abnormalities

 

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