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Origin of Zika virus & Zika virus symptoms

Zika virus  origin and Zika virus symptoms 

Zika virus Origin

Katherine Du/NPR

Since it was first discovered in Uganda in 1947, Zika virus was known mostly as a short-lived and mild illness. In 2015, that all changed. An outbreak in Brazil is suspected of causing cases of a serious birth defect, microcephaly, & a potentially crippling disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome.
As the mosquito-borne illness spreads across the Americas, scientists are trying to figure out what illnesses the virus is truly responsible for and why more people are getting sick.

Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread ito people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The very  common symptoms of Zika are like fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases of Zika were detected and since then, outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Zika outbreaks have probably occurred in many locations. Before 2007, at least 14 cases of Zika had been documented, although other cases were likely to have occurred and were not reported. Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to those of many other diseases, many cases may not have been recognized.
In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil and on Feb 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Local transmission has been reported in many other countries and territories. Zika virus likely will continue to spread to new areas.
Specific areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time. 
  • Aedes Aegypti

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommendsthat blood banks don't take donations from people who have traveled in the past four weeks to places with active Zika virus transmission. Researchersmeeting at the National Academy of Sciences name some top priorities: to improve testing methods; develop animal models of the disease; and understand what animals might still host the virus once the current outbreak wanes in humans.
  • Marilla Lima had Zika virus while pregnant. Her 2 1/2-month-old son, Arthur, has microcephaly — a birth defect characterized by a small head and severe brain damage.

  • Lourdes Garcia-Navarro/NPR
    A sharp increase in the number of babies born with small heads is reported in a part of Brazil that noted an outbreak in Zika virus infections months before. The state of Pernambuco used to register 10 cases of microcephaly per year. In 2015, there were over 140 cases
  • Named after the forest in Uganda where it was discovered in 1947, the Zika virus has sickenedpeople on multiple continents since then. But past outbreaks have not been connected to birth defects or to increased rates of a neurological condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome.


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