August 1, 2017

By Meaghan Flores

There is a possibility that the Zika virus could be more widespread in Africa than previously thought, a major concern to researchers around the world because of the potential for another outbreak.

The 2015 Zika outbreak emerged in Brazil, but knowledge of the virus dates back the 1940s, when it was first discovered in Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria. Since then the disease has spread across the world. By February 2016, the virus had spread rapidly across the Americas, with more than 20 countries reporting local transmission.

Zika has proven to be more complex than originally thought, as some of the trends and abnormalities seen in the outbreak of the virus in the Americas have not been the same as in Africa. This could be because there are two separate linkages of the virus, one originating in Africa and the other in Asia, or because health care systems in Africa are poor and aren’t detecting the virus well.