Alison Snyder May 24, 2017
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Zika virus likely arrived in U.S. months before it was detected

In three new papers, scientists outline how the Zika virus emerged in Brazil, central America, and the U.S. months before it was detected. By studying DNA changes in the virus as it spread from one place to the next, the researchers were able to trace its path through the Americas.

The takeaway: "The Zika virus could have affected human populations beyond the areas currently described. In the U.S., we need to do a better job anticipating the arrival of these emerging viruses and doing active surveillance by going into community health center, clinics and emergency rooms and identifying people with fever and rash to see if they have zika," says Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.