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Seroprevalence studies in Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan indicate widespread population exposure.2007: Zika spreads from Africa and Asia to cause the first large outbreak in humans on the Pacific island of Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia.Prior to this event, no outbreaks and only 14 cases of human Zika virus disease had been documented worldwide.Though a pink non-itchy rash lasting 5 days eventually covers most of his body, including the palms of his hands and soles of his feet, he reports his illness as “mild”, as he did not experience the “crippling bone pain” associated with dengue and chikungunya infections.Given the mild nature of the illness, the author concludes that “it is not surprising under normal circumstances the virus is not isolated frequently from man.”1960s-1980s: Zika is now being detected in mosquitos and sentinel rhesus monkeys used for field research studies in a narrow band of countries that stretch across equatorial Africa.Reports in the timeline below come from EIS unless another reference is given.Notifications of specific events are available from the authors on request.In addition, we drew on formal notifications to WHO under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), which are archived in the WHO Event Information Site (EIS).
Figure 1 provides a chronological map of the presence of Zika only in those countries for which there is evidence of autochthonous or indigenous transmission by mosquitos, excluding the many countries that have notified imported Zika infections.1964: A researcher in Uganda who fell ill while working with Zika strains isolated from mosquitoes provides the first proof, by virus isolation and re-isolation, that Zika virus causes human disease.
These reports indicate a possible association between Zika virus infection and congenital malformations and severe neurological and autoimmune complications.
However, because the island was also experiencing an outbreak of dengue, the association between Zika infection and Guillain-Barré syndrome remains suggestive but unproven.
Altogether, virus is isolated from more than 20 mosquito species, mainly in the genus Aedes.
Sporadic human cases are identified, mostly by serological methods, but such cases are rare, and the disease is regarded as benign.