Zika puzzle in Brazil: peculiar conditions of viral introduction and dissemination - A Review

This article discusses the peculiar conditions that favoured the unexpected introduction of Zika virus into the poorest northeastern region of Brazil in 2015, its speed of transmission to other Brazilian states, other Latin American countries and other regions, and the severity of related neurological disorders in newborns and adults. Contrasting with evidence that Zika had so far caused only mild cases in humans in the last six decades, the epidemiological scenario of this outbreak in Brazil indicates dramatic health effects: in 2015, an increase of 20-fold in notified cases of microcephaly and/or central nervous system (CNS) alterations suggestive of Zika congenital infection, followed by an exponential increase in 2016, with 2366 cumulative cases confirmed in the country by the end of December 2016.

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