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The proteins embedded in the viral envelope are shown. The ones colored red are involved in binding to and entering the host cell. The icosahedral virus core is not visible.
Zika virus is one of several mosquito-borne flaviviruses. The virus was of limited concern until 2015, when in South America scientists discovered an association between Zika infection in pregnant women and an increase in the number of babies born with smaller-than-normal head sizes, a condition known as microcephaly. Scientists have since agreed that Zika virus infection in pregnant women may lead to microcephaly and other neurological defects in their child. The virus is spread primarily through the bite of Aedes aegypti and related species of mosquitoes.