Definition of the ability of zika virus (ZIKV) to infect the placenta, brain and eye that will impact on our understanding of debilitating microcephaly and macular scarring in ZIKV exposed newborns.
Dr Jillian Carr
The world was shocked by the threat of Ebola. Now we face the more insidious ZIKV. ZIKV is transmitted by a mosquito that spreads dengue, which with 390 million infections pa (Bhatt et al., 2013. Nature), paints a grim picture for future ZIKV. Epidemiology links ZIKV infection of pregnant women to microcephaly and macular scars in newborns with intellectual and visual impairment. A WHO alert suggests travel restrictions in pregnancy and presents ZIKV as an emerging threat to the health of newborns with permanent sequela for the next generation. ZIKV is thus a clear priority for child health.