Zika Virus Likely Arrived In Americas In 2013, According To Study

News outlets report on a study published in Science showing the Zika virus likely was carried by a traveler to the Americas during the latter part of 2013.

BBC News: Zika ‘World Cup theory’ dismissed
“The Zika virus arrived in South America a year before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, say British and Brazilian scientists…” (Gallagher, 3/24).

The Guardian: Zika outbreak in Americas could be down to one plane passenger
“…Published in the journal Science, the study reveals that the team took samples from seven individuals in Brazil infected with the Zika virus during the recent outbreak — including a newborn baby, diagnosed with microcephaly, who had died. They then carried out next-generation sequencing to generate the Zika virus genomes and compared these genomes to each other, as well as to other Zika virus genomes from across the Americas…” (Davis, 3/24).

Los Angeles Times: Genetic sleuths uncover Zika’s viral secrets
“…[T]he study reveals that the Zika virus probably made landfall in the Americas by hitching a ride on an airplane between May and December 2013. That period coincides with outbreaks of Zika in a number of Pacific islands, and it overlaps with the convergence on Brazil of an unusual number of flights from countries in which the Zika virus was already circulating widely…” (Healy, 3/24).

NBC News: Zika Has Been in Brazil Longer Than Anyone Thought: Study
“…The Zika now spreading explosively across Brazil, the rest of the Americas and the Caribbean very closely matches a strain that circulated in French Polynesia in 2013, the team reports in the journal Science…” (Fox, 3/24).

New York Times: One Traveler May Have Brought Zika to the Americas in 2013
“…Experts were divided in their opinions of the new study, published Thursday in the journal Science. Some praised the work, while others said it was too limited to draw such a specific conclusion…” (McNeil, 3/24).

NPR: Zika Lurked In South America Months Before Cases Reported
“…The patterns in the Zika genes suggest the virus entered the Americas only once…” (Doucleff, 3/24).

USA TODAY: Study: Zika virus may have arrived in Brazil in 2013
“…Although Brazilian health officials noticed a cluster of illnesses marked by fever and rash in late 2014, they didn’t officially diagnosed these patients with the little-known Zika virus until May 2015…” (Szabo, 3/24).

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