EPRS Admin By / February 26, 2016

Zika virus: Stepping up preparedness

Countries or territories with confirmed autochthonous (locally acquired) cases of Zika virus infection in the past two months

Zika virus: Stepping up preparedness

The Zika virus is named after the Ugandan forest (Zika forest) where it was identified among monkeys in 1947. It was detected in humans five years later. There had only been sporadic cases of people infected with the virus until the first outbreaks were reported in 2007 and 2013 in the Pacific (Yap and French Polynesia respectively), and in 2015 in the Americas (Brazil and Colombia) and Africa (Cape Verde). The ongoing current epidemic started in Brazil in May 2015 and has since spread to 40 countries or territories. Zika is mainly transmitted through the bite of an infected female mosquito of the Aedes genus, primarily Aedes aegypti, which is also a vector for dengue and yellow fever.

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