He spent his life studying mosquitoes, and then it became personal.

He spent his life studying mosquitoes, and then it became personal.
After working in Senegal, this scientist accidentally discovered very important info about Zika. <br>On Aug. 30, 2008, Brian Foy had just gotten home from a research trip in Senegal, a country in West Africa, when he began to feel sick. Foy is a biologist specializing in insect-transmitted diseases and an associate professor at Colorado State University. He had been in rural Senegal with a graduate student researching malaria and noticed that when he got back, he felt not quite right. Foy (right) with equipment for aspirating mosquitoes in Senegal. Image via Brian Foy, used with permission. "It started out by me just feeling really exhausted," Foy says. "It was hard to really know if this was just jet lag or not ... and then that exhaustion just progressed into a vague headache. I really needed to cover my eyes and kind of shy away from the light."He developed a rash across his torso and joint pain. He later got prostatitis as well. Foy immediately called the graduate student who had been working with him in Senegal. He had many of the same symptoms.Both suspected that their symptoms were classic signs of an arbovirus — a type of virus, such as dengue, that is often caught after being bitten by mosquitoes. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the species that transmits the Zika, chikungunya, dengue, and yellow fever arboviruses. Photo by Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images. After all, they had been working in remote villages for about a month and a half, collecting mosquitoes for a malaria study. And both of the researchers had been bitten numerous times by numerous different kinds of mosquitoes. "We’d work into the late evening with shorts and sandals," Foy remembers. So, it made sense that they caught the virus while they were there.But then, Foy’s wife got sick too. She hadn’t been to Senegal. She hadn’t even left northern Colorado for a while, but she had many of the same symptoms: sensitivity to light, a rash, swollen joints, muscle pain, and bloodshot eyes. In fact,