Zika virus was first discovered in Uganda in 1947 with the first human case observed in 1952. Since then, outbreaks have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, Pacific Island, South and Central America. Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites which makes it a part of the group of arboviruses. Symptoms of Zika can include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes) but not necessarily all of them. Many individuals infected with Zika often do not realize they have it because the illness is usually mild and the symptoms overlap with other more common diseases. Symptoms usually last from several days to a week with severe disease that requires hospitalization uncommon.
In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.
In response, CDC has issued travel notices for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
Below is a interactive map which discusses the history of Zika.