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October 2017

The Expanding Spectrum of Zika Virus Infections of the Nervous System

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
  • 2Department of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
  • 3Department of Immunology-Microbiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
  • 4Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(10):1169-1171. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.1471

Zika virus was first isolated in 1947 from the blood of a captive rhesus macaque on an elevated platform in the tree canopy of the Zika Forest, presumably infected by mosquitos.1 Human infection with the Zika virus was not documented until the early 1950s, and most reports prior to the current outbreaks in the Americas in 2015 emphasized the relatively benign nature of infection. Reports from Micronesia in 2007 and French Polynesia in 2013 suggested that approximately 80% of infections were asymptomatic and that the remaining 20% of infected individuals developed a combination of rash, fever, arthralgia, conjunctivitis, myalgia, and headache (listed in descending order of frequency).2