Zika virus: History, epidemiology, transmission, and clinical presentation.J Neuroimmunol 2017; 308:50-64JN
Zika virus (ZIKV), a mosquito-borne positive-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae (genus Flavivirus), is now causing an unprecedented large-scale outbreak in the Americas. Historically, ZIKV spread eastward from equatorial Africa and Asia to the Pacific Islands during the late 2000s to early 2010s, invaded the Caribbean and Central and South America in 2015, and reached North America in 2016. Although ZIKV infection generally causes no symptoms or only a mild self-limiting illness, it has recently been linked to a rising number of severe neurological diseases, including microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Because of the continuous geographic expansion of both the virus and its mosquito vectors, ZIKV poses a serious threat to public health around the globe. However, there are no vaccines or antiviral therapies available against this pathogen. This review summarizes a fast-growing body of literature on the history, epidemiology, transmission, and clinical presentation of ZIKV and highlights the urgent need for the development of efficient control strategies for this emerging pathogen.