June 11, 2015

Another virus carried by mosquitoes now in Caribbean

The Zika virus, also called ZIKV, first was identified in a Rhesus monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947 and spread to humans by 1952. It is transmitted by the same mosquito that carries dengue and chikungunya viruses. A young girl in the Dominican Republic is now hospitalized with it. Symptoms are similar to chikungunya: fever, severe muscle aches, headache, conjunctivitis, rash and swollen lower limbs. It was diagnosed in a Brazilian patient a month ago. No deaths have been attributed to it as of now.

Chikungunya was first noticed in December 2013 and spread throughout the Caribbean and into Florida in less than one year.