Workshop 12

Mar 04, 2017 by AAPOS editor in  Workshop

The Apt Lecturer Worshop
The Zika Virus Epidemic from an Ophthalmologic Perspective

Marilyn T. Miller, MD; Liana Ventura, MD; Camila Ventura, MD; Linda Lawrence, MD

1) Ventura Foundation, 2) U. of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary and 3)Private Practice
1) Recife, Brazil, 2) Chicago, Illinois, 3) Salina, Kansas


Purpose/Relevance:  The Zika viral epidemic is among the newly emerging diseases worldwide. While infected individuals usually have mild or no symptoms, the appearance of microcephaly in many offspring in the recent Brazilian epidemic has led to a worldwide public health emergency especially in regions where certain types of mosquito vectors exist.

Target Audience:  Clinicians, orthoptists and allied health personnel

Current Practice:  Ophthalmologists and other physicians working in areas with known or potential Zika viral infections may not be aware of the infants or adults who are potentially exposed to the virus or the characteristic signs and symptoms of infection.

Best Practice:  The appropriate health care professionals will be cognizant of the regions where the Zika virus infections are possible and the signs and symptoms of infection in adults and affected offspring.

Expected Outcomes:  The participants will have: 1)An improved level of knowledge of some of the basic teratogenic principles as they apply to the Zika epidemic;  2) Information on the scope of the infection in different regions and 3)The appropriate evaluation of affected or potentially affected adults and infants.

Format:  The format will include short presentations on the following: 1)The teratogenic characteristics of the Zika virus infections; 2) The retinal and optic nerve findings in affected infants; 3)The Ventura Foundation’s (Brazil) experience with the large number of infants with manifestations of the Zika viral infection including their visual and neurologic findings and functional deficits and 5)Summary and questions.

Summary:  The recent Zika virus epidemic is characterized by mild symptoms in the most affected individuals. However if the pregnant woman is infected very severe malformations may occur in her fetus.

References:  Ventura CV, Maia M, Ventura LV et al. Ophthalmologic findings in infants with microcephaly and presumable intra-uterus zika virus infection. Arq Bras Oftalmol 2016; 79:1-3.

Goorhuis A, Grobusch MP. Zika virus: who’s next? Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 Sep  [Epub ahead of
print] PubMed PMID: 27593583.

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