Since initial discovery of Zika virus, early virological and serological studies from the 1950s to 1980s showed that Zika virus infection is predominantly limited to African and Asian countries.
In Asia, endemic circulation of the virus (clinical disease and/or seroprevalence studies) has been reported in Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, The Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia, and Borneo, and among travelers returning from endemic areas.
The first major epidemic outside Africa occurred in Yap Island of the Federated States of Micronesia (in the western Pacific Ocean, north to Papua New Guinea) in 2007. Since then, Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses became rampant in the Pacific islands. Another major epidemic occurred in the western Pacific islands of French Polynesia and New Caledonia in 2013-2014.
The outbreak in Easter Island in 2014 heralded the incursion of the virus to mainland Latin America. Since early 2015, Brazil reported the first autochthonous case in the city of Natal and this was quickly followed by another large epidemic in Brazil and neighbouring countries in Latin America.
As of 12 February 2016, there were over 2,000 confirmed and over 118,000 suspected cases in the Americas. The exact time and route of spread of the virus to Brazil is unknown, but importation during the 2014 World Cup has been postulated.
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2,Jesse J. Waggoner. Zika Virus: Diagnostics for an Emerging Pandemic Threat.2016.J. Clin. Microbiol. doi:10.1128/JCM.00279-16
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