The World Health Organization (WHO) declared last week that the Zika virus is an international health emergency, calling it an "extraordinary event" due to its apparent association with congenital malformations and neurological complications reported in the Americas region.
The disease, a single-stranded RNA virus of the Flaviviridae family, genus Flavivirus, is transmitted through the bite of infected daytime-active Aedes species mosquitoes (the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses).
According to CDC, the mosquito vectors typically breed in domestic water-holding containers; they are aggressive daytime biters and feed both indoors and outdoors near dwellings. Non-human and human primates are likely the main reservoirs of the virus, and anthroponotic (human-to-vector-to-human) transmission occurs during outbreaks.
Zika Virus History
Zika virus is not a new strain...