Until recently, all cases in the United States were imported by people who had traveled to infected regions. Then, on February 2nd, a person tested positive for the virus in Dallas, Texas, proving that the disease can also be transmitted sexually.
On January 15th in Hawaii, a baby is born with microcephaly in the United States. The Ministry of Health confirms that there is autochthonous circulation of the Zika virus in Haiti with 5 confirmed cases.
“We are badly losing the battle against the mosquito”, said Brazil’s health minister in January 2016. There have been 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly reported in Brazil since the outbreak began in April 2015.
Zika was first discovered in the Zika forest, Uganda, in 1947.
Zika’s outbreak in the Americas
This map shows the number of confirmed cases of the Zika virus during the 2015-2016 outbreak of the virus.
The Zika virus, when it infects pregnant women, is thought to be the cause of a sharp spike in newborn microcephaly, mostly in Brazil.
Like Dengue and Chikungunya, the Zika virus is carried by a certain genus of mosquitoes called Aedes, known colloquially as the tiger mosquito. During the last three decades, climate change may have played a key role in helping these mosquitoes thrive in new areas.
Countries that have past or current evidence of Zika virus transmission