September 24, 2018
Recent findings suggest that approximately one-quarter of infants with suspected or confirmed Zika virus exposure during the 2015-2016 Rio de Janeiro outbreak developed eye abnormalities. Researchers said that regardless of laboratory confirmation, all infants born during Zika outbreaks “should be universally screened for eye abnormalities.”
Irena Tsui, MD, an ophthalmologist at UCLA, and colleagues wrote that lab confirmation of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in neonates may be difficult for several reasons, including the observation that many cases of ZIKV infection are asymptomatic. These cases, according to the researchers, tend not to get tested for the infection. Additionally, a negative test result cannot rule out infection because the virus is detectable through testing for only 3 to 16 days after symptom onset.