Previous reports found that Zika virus can affect the vision of children, but a new study has uncovered that it can also affect the eyes of adults. Doctors in Brazil found that a man infected with Zika virus developed a potentially severe eye condition.
Coauthor Dr. Benedito Antonio Lopes da Fonseca said, “Zika patients should report every single symptom to their doctors, especially if they present with any kind of eye symptoms.”
The male patient was in his 40s and recovered from the eye condition – uveitis, a type of inflammation of the eye. Uveitis can lead to cataracts and ocular hypertension.
Zika virus is vastly spreading across Brazil and has made its way into the U.S. through travelers. Puerto Rico is now seeing a steady incline of cases, placing hundreds of pregnant women and their fetuses at risk for birth defects.
Negative impact of Zika virus on infants – particularly, birth defect known as microcephaly – has been well documented. Children with this condition are born with abnormally small heads. Reports also note that many children born with this defect are blind.
The good news is, uveitis can be treated with eye drops, injections, or oral medications.
Researchers believe that Zika contributes to eye problems because the virus affects the central nervous system – and the eyes are closely connected to it.
In related news, the U.S. has currently approved $1.1 billion towards fighting Zika in cause of an outbreak
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Zika virus causes vision problems in babies.