The history of Zika virus
The rise in the spread of Zika virus has been accompanied by a rise in cases of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. First identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys, Zika was later identified in humans in 1952. The first large outbreak of disease caused by Zika infection was reported from the Island of Yap in 2007. There are currently several countries experiencing Zika virus outbreaks.
1948: The virus is recovered from the mosquito Aedes africanus, caught on a tree platform in the Zika forest.
1952: The first human cases are detected in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania in a study demonstrating the presence of neutralizing antibodies to Zika virus in sera.
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.
2013–2014: The virus causes outbreaks in four other groups of Pacific islands: French Polynesia, Easter Island, the Cook Islands, and New Caledonia.26,27 The outbreak in French Polynesia, generating thousands of suspected infections, is intensively investigated. The results of retrospective investigations are reported to WHO on 24 November 2015 and 27 January 2016.
1 February 2016: WHO declares that the recent association of Zika infection with clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the World Health Organization concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted and dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.