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Sight-Threatening Abnormalities in Newborns Linked to Zika Virus

The rapid spread of the Zika virus infection across South America, and the associated increase in the prevalence of microcephaly, carries with it a host of sight-threatening complications, according to a study recently published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Researchers at Roberto Santos General Hospital in Salvador, Brazil, found a high rate of ocular abnormalities in newborns with microcephaly associated with congenital Zika virus infection. Of 29 infants with microcephaly examined, ocular lesions were found in 10, many with focal pigment mottling of the retina and chorioretinal atrophy. Optical nerve abnormalities were found in 4 patients.

“This study can help guide clinical management and practice, as we observed that a high proportion of the infants with microcephaly had ophthalmologic lesions. Infants with microcephaly should undergo routine ophthalmologic evaluations to identify such lesions. In high-transmission settings, such as South America, Central America and the Caribbean, ophthalmologists should be aware of the risk of congenital ZIKV-associated ophthalmologic sequelae,” the authors write.

Link to full article: http://archopht.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2491896

 

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