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J Gen Virol. 2016 Feb;97(2):269-273. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.000381. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

Zika virus: a previously slow pandemic spreads rapidly through the Americas.

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Division of Biomedical & Life Sciences, Faculty of Health & Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK.
MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK.


Zika virus (family Flaviviridae) is an emerging arbovirus. Spread by Aedes mosquitoes, it was first discovered in Uganda in 1947, and later in humans elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, arriving in south-east Asia at latest by the mid-twentieth century. In the twenty-first century, it spread across the Pacific islands reaching South America around 2014. Since then it has spread rapidly northwards reaching Mexico in November 2015. Its clinical profile is that of a dengue-like febrile illness, but associations with Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly have appeared recently. The final geographical range and ultimate clinical impact of Zika virus are still a matter for speculation.

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