Emergence of Zika (03:17)
Women with Zika symptoms started coming to medical clinics in Rio de Janeiro in 2015. Doctors were unsure what was wrong until they tested blood for Zika, which had never appeared in South America before. Zika was first found in Africa in the 1940s, with the first human case reported in the 1950s.
Underestimating Zika (05:24)
French researchers started studying Zika cases in French Polynesia in 2013, but it was seen as a harmless virus. In 2015, hundreds of babies in Brazil are born with microcephaly. Zika disappears from the bloodstream quickly, so doctors could not determine if Zika was causing the microcephaly.
Doctors from around the world started working to learn more about Zika. For decades scientists have worked to eradicate mosquitoes, which carry the virus, but it has made them stronger.
Fighting Zika (05:07)
The Brazilian government is doing everything it can to fight mosquitoes. The drinking water in slum areas of Rio de Janeiro is filled with them. Scientists already studying mosquito-borne viruses have started studying Zika.
Fetal Brain Cells (04:57)
Scientists at John Hopkins were already developing fetal brain cells from stem cells when they heard about the Zika epidemic. Other scientists were looking for fetal brain cells that could be infected with the Zika virus.
Health Crisis (07:41)
The scientists who recreated the Zika virus contact the ones who created fetal brain cells. They began working together to see if Zika was the cause for microcephaly. They proved Zika was linked to microcephaly.
Zika in Africa (05:13)
Zika has been found on an island off the coast of Africa. Zika originally stemmed from Africa, but there were no cases of microcephaly. Researchers are trying to determine if the virus has evolved.
Genetically Modified Mosquitoes (05:21)
In Brazil, genetically modified mosquitoes are being released into the wild. The modified ones have a gene that kills offspring when it is young. The goal is to decrease the mosquito population.
Lasting Impacts of Zika (04:32)
Cases of Zika have decreased, but scientists worry the dip is temporary. Some babies in Brazil have started to develop microcephaly after birth.
Credits: World War Zika (03:56)
Credits: World War Zika
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