The Zika virus is a rare condition that is caused by the Aedes aegypti, Aedes africanus, and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. It was first discovered by scientists in a group of rhesus monkeys in 1947 in the Zika forest in Uganda, which is how it first got its name. Just a few years later, it was found to have infected humans in the same region. Because of this, researchers began to track the condition to see if others around the globe wherever infected by it. What they found was that the Zika virus exists in Asia, North America, Central America, South America, and the Pacific too. Since its widespread prevalence is now known, doctors are encouraging those who are at risk of contracting the virus to learn more about its symptoms, causes, and treatment.
The Zika virus was not considered to be a serious problem until 2007. That is because there were very few cases of it prior to this date. Although it isn’t fully understood why, an outbreak of the condition occurred on Yap Island, which is located in the Western Pacific. At first, doctors thought that the infected people had dengue fever instead. That is because dengue is a closely related mosquito-borne illness that causes similar symptoms as the Zika virus. It wasn’t until after the Centers for Disease Control in the United States tested the blood samples of the patients that they were able to discover the true cause.