Zika virus was discovered in 1947. It is, however, making news headlines due to an increase in cases in areas previously not associated with the disease. This is partly due to warming climates, influencing vector patterns.
Zika virus is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family and the Flavivirus genus. It causes a mild illness known as Zika fever. Symptoms are similar to other Flaviviruses such as Dengue fever or the Alphavirus Chikungunya but are milder in form and usually last four to seven days. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
Zika virus is transmitted by daytime-active mosquitoes and has been isolated from a number of species in the genus Aedes. Risk of the disease is based on the distribution of the mosquito species that transmit it.
Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle