Zika Virus Infographic
Credit: MPH Online
The following graphic provides several interesting facts and statistics about the Zika Virus, including a brief history, documented cases of infection in humans, its signs and symptoms, the long-term risks, current locations of transmission, and prevention tips.
Over the past few years, there have been many outbreaks around the world of relatively unknown viruses.
First, it was Ebola.
Now, Zika is the latest threat.
Many Americans are unfamiliar with the Zika Virus.
- What is Zika?
- How can you help protect yourself and your family from infection?
History of Zika
The following dates provide a brief historical overview of the Zika Virus and recorded cases of infection in the human population. ¹
- 1947 – The Zika Virus is discovered in a Rhesus Macaque – an Old World Monkey native to Africa and Asia.
- 1952 – Infections in humans are first documented in the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda. Also, it is discovered that the virus is carried by Mosquitoes and transmitted through their bite.
- 2007 – There are 14 cases of Zika Virus confirmed.
- 2013 – French Polynesia suffers an outbreak of Zika.
- 2015 – It is discovered during an outbreak in Brazil that in addition to its most common symptoms, Zika has the potential to cause autoimmune and neurological complications.
- 2016 – The World Health Organization, or WHO, declares the Zika Virus a “public health emergency concern”.
The most common symptoms caused by the Zika Virus are fairly mild and include: ¹
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Red or bloodshot eyes
Risks of Zika Infection
Zika Virus can transfer from mother to fetus, sometimes causing microcephaly in newborns.
Microcephaly is a medical condition in which the brain does not develop properly. Pregnant women should avoid traveling to mosquito-ridden or Zika infected areas.¹
During the 2015 Brazilian outbreak of Zika, thirty-five (35) infants were born with microcephaly. ¹
Microcephaly signs and symptoms include:
- a smaller than normal head
- intellectual disabilities
- poor motor function
- poor speech
- abnormal facial features
- short than normal stature
- reduced life expectancy
Zika Virus symptoms last on average from two (2) to seven (7) days. ³
People infected with Zika are at risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder where the body’s immune system attacks nerves and occasionally causes paralysis. ³
Guillain-Barré syndrome occurs as the result of a Zika Infection in around six (6) to forty (40) cases per one (1) million people. ²
Where is Zika?
As of the date of this article, the Zika Virus has been transmitted in the following countries: ¹
(in alphabetical order)
- American Samoa
- Cape Verde
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Federated States of Micronesia
- French Guiana
- Marshall Islands
- New Caledonia
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Martin
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sint Maarten
- Trinidad and Tobago
- U.S. Virgin Islands
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued some prevention tips based on current knowledge of Zika, with the understanding that additional research is needed regarding transmission of the virus. ¹ ³
Zika prevention tips:
- Avoid travelling to regions of the world with high rates of transmission.
- Because most mosquitoes carrying the Zika Virus are out during daytime hours – be sure to:
- Wear protective clothing
- Use an insect repellent spray
- Carefully follow the insect repellent instructions and reapply the product as directed.
- Use mosquito netting for newborns in cribs or playpens, when available.
- If infected with Zika, avoid sexual contact.
² Source: Genetics Home Reference, a service of the National Library of Medicine
³ Source: World Health Organization