Zika virus is a mosquito-borne yellow virus that was first discovered in monkeys in Uganda in 1947. It was later confirmed in 1952 between humans in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Zika virus disease epidemics have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. In the 1960s and 1980s, a small number of cases of human infection were found in Africa and Asia, and patients usually had mild illnesses.

In 2007, the first recorded Zika virus disease epidemic was reported on Yap Island (Federated States of Micronesia). Later, in 2013, a large Zika virus infection occurred in French Polynesia, and the epidemic spread to other countries and territories in the Pacific. Brazil reported many rash patients in March 2015 and was soon identified as Zika virus infection. It was found in July 2015 that the virus is associated with the Guillain-Barré syndrome.

In October 2015, Brazil reported a link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly. Evidence of the disease outbreak and dissemination soon appeared throughout the Americas, Africa and the rest of the world. To date, 86 countries and territories have reported evidence of Zika virus transmission via mosquito transmission.