Scientists first discovered the Zika virus in 1947 in the Zika Forest of Uganda. The first human cases, however, were not found for several years. Since then, it has become a progressively difficult problem for humans living near large mosquito populations.
The virus is primarily spread by the Aedes mosquitoes, a genus that has spread throughout the world, excluding Antarctica. Aedes mosquitoes also transmit yellow fever and dengue fever.
West Nile Virus
Scientists first detected West Nile virus in 1937 in the West Nile region of Uganda. The virus originates in migratory bird species, but it is transmitted to humans via mosquitoes. When mosquitoes bite infected birds, they can then pass the virus on to people.
West Nile outbreaks have been reported in Israel, Romania, Greece, Canada and the United States.
Lyme disease was first discovered in 1975 after an unexplained outbreak of arthritis in children in the town of Lyme, CT. Lyme disease affects not only the skin but joints, the nervous and other internal organs if left untreated.
The disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacterium is found in the white footed mouse and deer ticks. It is transmitted to humans via tick bites.