HealthDay News—The first case of an infant who developed glaucoma after being exposed to the Zika virus while in the womb has been reported by an international team of researchers. The case was reported online in Ophthalmology.1

During the course of research, the investigators came across a 3-month-old boy who was exposed to Zika while in the womb. Although no signs of glaucoma were present at the time of birth, the infant later developed swelling, pain, and tearing in his right eye, the researchers said. Doctors diagnosed glaucoma and performed surgery.

Doctors need to be aware that glaucoma is another serious symptom of Zika infection that should be monitored in infants, the study authors said. And more research is needed to determine exactly how glaucoma is caused in infants with Zika.

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“We identified the first case where Zika virus appears to have affected the development of the anterior chamber, or front portion, of the eye during gestation and caused glaucoma after birth,” study coauthor Albert Icksang Ko, MD, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Conn., said in a statement.

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  1. de Paula Freitas B, Ko AI, Khouri R, et al. Glaucoma and congenital Zika syndrome. Ophthalmology. 2016; doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.10.004