Zika Control

Close-up of Aedes mosquito

The Zika virus has come to global prominence in the past several years due to its explosive spread across the Americas and its link to microcephaly, which has caused the World Health Organization to declare the virus a public health emergency.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow are spearheading global efforts to combat the virus.

What is the Zika virus?

The Zika virus was first identified in monkeys in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947 by University of Glasgow scientist Alexander Haddow.

‌The virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito. When the mosquito drinks the blood of an infected person, they can then infect all subsequent people that they bite. Zika’s clinical profile has symptoms resembling the Dengue and Chikungunya viruses, which are spread by the same insect. There is also speculation that the the virus could potentially be sexually transmitted.

As the Zika virus is transmitted to humans from mosquitoes, a One Health approach is necessary to fully understand its spread and impact on human health and to develop potential vaccines.

First published: 21 January 2021