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Volume 20, Number 6—June 2014

Etymologia

Etymologia: Zika Virus

Suggested citation for this article

Zika [zēkʹə] Virus

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus in the family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus that causes a mild, acute febrile illness similar to dengue. In 1947, scientists researching yellow fever placed a rhesus macaque in a cage in the Zika Forest (zika meaning “overgrown” in the Luganda language), near the East African Virus Research Institute in Entebbe, Uganda. A fever developed in the monkey, and researchers isolated from its serum a transmissible agent that was first described as Zika virus in 1952. It was subsequently isolated from a human in Nigeria in 1954. From its discovery until 2007, confirmed cases of Zika virus infection from Africa and Southeast Asia were rare. In 2007, however, a major epidemic occurred in Yap Island, Micronesia. More recently, epidemics have occurred in Polynesia, Easter Island, the Cook Islands and New Caledonia.

References

  1. Dick GW, Kitchen SF, Haddow AJ. Zika virus. I. Isolations and serological specificity. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1952;46:50920 . DOIPubMed
  2. Hayes EB. Zika virus outside Africa. Emerg Infect Dis. 2009;15:134750. DOIPubMed
  3. MacNamara FN. Zika virus: a report on three cases of human infection during an epidemic of jaundice in Nigeria. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1954;48:13945. DOIPubMed
  4. Murphy JD. Luganda–English dictionary. Washington (DC): The Catholic University of America Press; 1972.

Suggested citation for this article: Etymologia: Zika virus. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2014 Jun [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2006.ET2006

DOI: 10.3201/eid2006.ET2006

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Table of Contents – Volume 20, Number 6—June 2014

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