Zika Virus: A New Epidemic on Our Doorstep

Rev Invest Clin. 2015 Nov-Dec;67(6):329-32.


Zika virus, a flavivirus transmitted to humans by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, was first described in humans as isolated cases in Africa. Outbreaks have been reported outside that region since 2007, followed by its gradual introduction to different geographical areas. In 2015, Zika virus was detected in Brazil, from where it is rapidly expanding in the continent; the first case in Mexico was detected in October 2015. Initially deemed as a cause of mild illness, confirmation of microcephaly cases associated with this infection in Brazil have resulted in the World Health Organization declaration of Zika virus infection as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued travel alerts for countries with declared cases. The vector is widely distributed in Mexico and control measures are the most effective means for prevention, not only of Zika virus, but also dengue and chikungunya.

MeSH terms

  • Aedes
  • Animals
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / virology*
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • United States
  • World Health Organization
  • Zika Virus Infection / epidemiology*
  • Zika Virus Infection / prevention & control
  • Zika Virus Infection / transmission