Journal of eISSN: 2373-6453 JHVRV

Human Virology & Retrovirology
Volume 3 Issue 1 - 2016
Emerging Arboviral Infections: The Importance of Epidemiology
Lynne Margaret Webber*
Department of Medical Virology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Received:January 12, 2016 | Published: January 13, 2016
*Corresponding author: Lynne Margaret Webber, Department of Medical Virology, University of Pretoria, TAD NHLS (National Health Laboratory Service), Pretoria, South Africa, PO Box 39224, Garsfontein East 0060, Tel: 082 555 7724; Email:
Citation: Webber LM (2016) Emerging Arboviral Infections: The Importance of Epidemiology. J Hum Virol Retrovirol 3(1): 00077. DOI: 10.15406/jhvrv.2016.03.00077

Keywords: Epidemiology; Zika virus; DNA; Viral zoonoses; Disease; Infection


Epidemiology is the study of patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions, within defined human and/or animal populations [1,2]. Epidemiology shapes public health policy decisions and includes evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and by pursuing targets for preventive health care [1-4]. Epidemiology is also the study of human populations and addresses the following functions, namely:

  1. Discovering the agent, host and environmental factors;
  2. Determining the cause of illness, disability and death;
  3. Identifying risk-health determinants and
  4. Evaluating current health programmes and services [5,6].

Epidemiologic practices and viral zoonoses are geographically interlinked and selected examples within the African context are listed, namely:

  1. Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever;
  2. Dengue Virus;
  3. Ebola disease;
  4. Foot- and- mouth disease;;
  5. Lassa Fever;
  6. Marburg disease;
  7. Measles;
  8. Rabies;
  9. Rift Valley Fever;
  10. Sindbis virus;
  11. Middelburg virus;
  12. And rotaviral gastroenteritis [7-12].

Animals play a significant role within public health practices and viral zoonoses continue to threaten public health [6-12].


Zika virus is an emerging viral disease in African, Asian, and recently South American countries [13,14]. It is related to Dengue, Yellow Fever, West Nile and Japanese Encephalitis viruses, all members of the family Flaviviridae [13]. Human to human transmission has been widely contested and sexual transmission and the result of Zika virus DNA in human amniotic fluid indicates another mode of foetal infection [15]. The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites and Zika virus infection in pregnant women with subsequent birth defects is being investigated in Brazil [16].


No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease and the only way to prevent Zika virus infection is through avoiding mosquito bites, which occur mostly during the daytime.


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  16. CDC (2016) National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).
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