Zika Virus-associated Ocular and Neurologic Disorders: The Emergence of New Evidence

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Abstract

Background:

It has been approximately 70 years since the discovery of the Zika virus (ZIKV). It had been established that the virus causes mild infections and is confined to Africa and Asia; however, major changes in the clinical and epidemiologic patterns of ZIKV infection have occurred in recent years. The virus has attracted intense interest because of the possible association of several autoimmune and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Methods:

We present a summary of the articles that attempt to explain the ZIKV unknowns and strengthen the association with some disorders that are thought to be related to ZIKV, by describing the discovery milestones from the initial identification of the virus to the present day.

Results:

New evidence strengthens the association between ZIKV infections and Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), microcephaly and various neurodevelopmental and ophthalmologic disorders as a result of numerous new clinical and experimental studies.

Conclusions:

The World Health Organization declared the end of the “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” in December 2016, but ZIKV and associated consequences remain a significant enduring public health challenge.

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