From Africa it spread to Asia and from there to some of the islands of Micronesia. It was spread by mosquitoes from the Aedes genus. In 2007 a mutation likely occurred which made the virus far more dangerous.
The virus has been transmitted sexually in one documented case. A biologist who was bitten by mosquitos in Africa, contracted the virus. When he returned to the US he had the disease in a mild form. He had sex with his wife and she came down with the disease as well. She was never exposed to the Aedes mosquito.
The Aedes mosquito is a heat loving creature. It has been spreading northward from the Caribbean and S. America. Puerto Rico recorded its first case in December 2015. It is expected to invade the continental US within the year.
Health care providers have no treatment, no vaccines to prevent the disease. They do have advice how to avoid the bloodsuckers. Wear insect repellent, wear long sleeves and long pants.
For many of the countries that depend on the ‘snowbirds’ seeking warm, sunny holidays in the tropics the economic fallout of dire warnings about Zika can stress economies.
The gradual warming of the Earth may bring more of these very unpleasant surprises.
Blogger, gardener, farmer. Working toward food security and a 30 foot
diet. Addicted to reading. Love this planet, especially my little corner
on Vancouver Island, Canada