Scientists worry Zika virus will return soon

From The Johns Hopkins News-Letter
November 16, 2017

Recently, the number of people suffering from Zika virus throughout the world has significantly decreased. However, biologists predict that Zika will return with a vengeance, potentially leading to more infections.

Ernesto Marques, associate professor of infectious diseases and microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, suggested that Zika will reemerge in due time, just like other arboviruses such as yellow fever and dengue.

“You have big booms, then they drop. Then a few years later, they come back again,” he said, according toThe Washington Post.

Scientists first identified the Zika virus in monkeys in 1947. The following year, scientists rediscovered the virus, and named it after the Zika forest in Uganda where it was first discovered in Aedes africanus mosquitoes.

Virologists have subsequently classified Zika as an arbovirus, a type of virus that is transmitted by arthropod vectors such as ticks and mosquitoes. In 2007, the first major Zika outbreak occurred in Yap, a small island in the Pacific Ocean.

The disease can spread in three ways: It can be transmitted through mosquito bites, sex and from a pregnant woman to her fetus.

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