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The Epidemiological Review of Zika Virus

Author: 
Yussif Dokurugu and Chika A Elechi-Onicha
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is one of the re-emerging infectious diseases that are of public health important considering its short-term and long-term effects. Aedes mosquitoes are widely distributed globally, and native habitats of most species are warm tropical and subtropical regions. Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease that belonged to the genus flavivirus and flaviviriae family was discovered during a study of yellow fever in Uganda in Zika Forest (Ioos et al., 2014). The Zika Virus has been described as having two lineages, the African and Asian lineages. Human illness caused by Zika virus was first recognized in Nigeria in 1953, when viral infection was confirmed in three ill persons (Hamel, Liégeois, et al., 2016). Despite recognition that Zika virus infection could produce a mild, febrile illness, only 13 naturally acquired cases were reported during the next 57 years. Zika virus was first identified in the Americas in March 2015, when an outbreak of an exanthematous illness occurred in Bahia, Brazil (Musso, 2015). Epidemiologic data indicate that in Salvador, the capital of Bahia, the outbreak had begun in February and extended to June 2015. No Zika virus vaccine exists; thus, prevention and control measures center on avoiding mosquito bites, reducing sexual transmission, and controlling the mosquito vector (Baden et al., 2016). The rapid spread of Zika infection raises new challenges for the health authorities and researchers about the magnitude and possible complications in future outbreaks (Plourde & Bloch, 2016).

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