The Most Common Mosquito-Borne Diseases
The Zika virus is transmitted by the species Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti, which are found in over 130 countries. It was first discovered in 1947 in monkeys in Uganda, and five years later, the first cases in humans were reported. Outbreaks of Zika have been reported in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific. Individuals who contract Zika virus either experience no symptoms or mild ones and they generally develop them three to fourteen days after being bitten.
Symptoms include fever, conjunctivitis (pink eye), headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, and malaise. The virus can also trigger neuropathy, myelitis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, especially in adults and older children. The virus, however, is best known as a teratogen, for it can cause congenital disabilities like microcephaly, which is characterized by an abnormally small head and brain. It can also cause complications of pregnancy like premature birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth.