What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Zika Virus, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more

Zika Virus

Zika Virus29 posts

The Zika virus, named after the Zika forest in Uganda, is a mosquito-transmitted disease found in tropical areas. Zika is a flavivirus in the same family as yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis. Infection causes mild fever-like symptoms, a rash and conjunctivitis, or no symptoms at all. In 2016 the virus was suspected for causing birth defects in babies, with thousands of babies being born with smaller than normal heads in Brazil. The spread of the virus has caused worldwide alarm.

5 Feb, 2016

Brazil finds Zika virus in urine, saliva

Scientific Discovery

Brazilian scientists says they have detected the presence of the Zika virus in samples of human saliva and urine, a first for Brazil. The samples came from two patients with Zika-like symptoms; one was found to have the virus in urine, the other had Zika in the saliva sample. It remains unclear whether the tiny sample size was enough to produce solid conclusions. Researchers warn that the virus might have the potential to spread through kissing or urine, but are quick to point out that this still remains to be proved. A potential upside to Friday’s revelation could involve developing urine tests as a diagnostic tool. Researcher:

It is something we have to further investigate. We are not yet sure if Zika can be transmitted to others [through saliva or urine].

Apr 2015

Zika identified

Scientific Discovery

By March 2015 the virus appears in two more Brazilian states, then reaches Salvador, a city of 2.5 million. Doctors speculate that the symptoms are the result of an allergy; that it was roseola, a childhood illness; that it was a new variant of Fifth Disease, a facial rash that gives children a “slapped-cheek” look. Dr Soares, a biologist:

People were claiming it was polluted water. I began thinking it was something transmitted by mosquitoes.

Working in his modest lab with a colleague, Dr. Soares tests thousands blood samples. Other doctors are doing the same. Over 6,800 samples are tested from victims ranging from 4 months to 98 years old. Parvovirus, dengue, chikungunya and other suspects are all ruled out, leaving Zika as the cause in April. Dr Soares:

I actually felt a sense of relief. The literature said it was much less aggressive than viruses we already deal with in Brazil.

1964

First well-documented infection report

Scientific Discovery

The first well-documented report of human Zika infection is reported, when researcher D.I.H. Simpson describes his own occupationally acquired illness at age 28. The infection starts with mild headache. The next day, a rash covers his face, neck, trunk, and upper arms, and spreads to his palms and soles. Transient fever, malaise, and back pain develops. By the evening of the second day of illness the fever abates, the rash fades, and he feels better. By day three, he feels well and only the rash remains, which disappeared over the next two days. The virus is isolated from serum collected while he has the fever.

18 Apr, 1945

Virus isolated in Uganda

Scientific Discovery

Zika virus is first isolated from a sentinel rhesus monkey placed in a cage on a tree platform in the Zika Forest near Lake Victoria, Uganda. The monkey, Rhesus 766, was part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s program for research on jungle yellow fever. Two days later, Rhesus 766, still febrile, was brought to the Foundation’s laboratory at Entebbe and its serum was inoculated into mice. After 10 days all mice that were inoculated intracerebrally were sick, and a filterable transmissible agent, later named Zika virus, was isolated from the mouse brains.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Zika Virus, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more