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The Origin and Spread of ZikaVirus

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Zika virus is spread by the daytime biters Aedesaegypti and Aedesalbopictus mosquitoes. It was named after the Zika forest in Uganda. This virus has often been likened to the dengue and yellow fever because they showcase similar symptoms on infected persons. Perhaps there’s little you know about the origin and spread of Zika virus. Here is some information you probably didn’t know about the virus.


1947: This is the year when the virus was first discovered in Uganda at the Zika Forest. It was discovered by scientists who were researching about yellow fever.They placed a rhesus monkey in a cage and it later developed a fever. They later found traces of the virus in the monkey.

1952: The first human Zika case was first identified in Uganda. Another case of Zika transmitted to humans was reported in the United Republic of Tanzania. 2 years later, researchers discovered two more strains of the virus from the same mosquito. The strains of the virus were discovered at the Zika forest in Uganda. 

1964: A scientist by the name David Simpson who was working with different strains of Zika in Uganda discovered that the virus caused symptoms that affected humans. He documented Zika symptoms such as rash and fever. He likened the symptoms to those that cause chikungunya and dengue fevers but slightly milder.

1975: By this time, the Zika virus was now detected in other countries such as India, Indonesia and Pakistan. There were really no outbreaks detected in humans. The virus was still regarded as rare and having caused mild symptoms. Some scientists suggested that the few reported cases of Zika virus in the 80s and 90s were due to the similarity of Zika with dengue and chikungunya. 

2007: After 2000, the virus came back to the limelight in 2007 where a major outbreak was reported in Micronesia. By 2013, the virus had spread in the other Pacific Islands which pushed researchers to study more about it and possibly identify ways to curb the spread of the virus. 

2015:Zika had spread in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Paraguay and Venezuela. In Brazil alone, there were more than 3000 cases of microcephaly which is a condition that affects infants. Early in 2016, the first case of Zika virus was reported in Puerto Rico. Pregnant women were advised to avoid travelling to affected countries.

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Author Bio:
1.      Maggie Martin is completing her PhD in Cell Biology, works as a lab tech for Mybiosource.com and contributes content on Biotech, Life Sciences, and Viral Outbreaks. Follow on Twitter@MaggieBiosource
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