There has been a rise in a recent virus that spreads to people mainly after they have been bitten by an infected Aedes species mosquito. The Zika Virus is in the same family of other viruses like West Nile, Dengue, Yellow Fever, and Japanese Encephalitis. This virus has been reported in Africa, the United States, Asia and the Pacific Islands.
The Zika Virus was first reported in Africa in 1947 and was named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. Since 1947, the virus has spread by outbreaks to several different countries with outbreaks still ongoing in Brazil and Puerto Rico. In January of 2016, the first report of Zika virus in the United States was in Houston, Texas.
People who have been infected with the Zika virus could experience fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. These symptoms could last perhaps a few days to a week. In certain cases, people with the virus won’t even know they have been affected because they won’t have the symptoms. However, it has been reported in Brazil that this virus has been linked to a birth defect known as Microcephaly, which results in a small head and small brain size in newborns.