Zika virus was first identified in 1947 in a sentinel monkey that was being used to monitor for the presence of yellow fever virus in the Zika Forest of Uganda. At this time cell lines were not available for studying viruses, so serum from the febrile monkey was inoculated intracerebrally into mice. All the mice became sick, and the virus isolated from their brains was called Zika virus. The same virus was subsequently isolated from Aedes africanus mosquitoes in the Zika forest.

Zika virus  is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus.It is spread by daytime-activeAedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti and A. albopictus.Its name comes from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947.[6] Zika virus is related to dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses.

The infection, known as Zika fever, often causes no or only mild symptoms, similar to a mild form of dengue fever. It is treated by rest.Since the 1950s, it has been known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia. The virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean 2013–2014 Zika virus outbreaks in Oceania to French Polynesia, New Caledonia, the Cook Islands, and Easter Island, and in 2015 to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the Zika outbreak has reached pandemic levels. As of 2016, the illness cannot be prevented by medications or vaccines. Zika may spread from a pregnant women to the baby. This may result in microcephaly and other severe brain problems. Zika infections in adults can result in Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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