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Volume 20, Number 6—June 2014
Etymologia

Etymologia: Zika Virus

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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.

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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.

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2006.et2006

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

Page created: May 19, 2014
Page updated: May 19, 2014
Page reviewed: May 19, 2014
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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