Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika forest in Uganda. The first outbreak reported outside of Africa and Asia occurred in Micronesia in 2007 and this was followed by another outbreak of the same strain in French Polynesia in 2013.
In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. Since then the virus has spread rapidly, particularly in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) in February 2016.