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October 2015

Ebola and the Eye

Author Affiliations
  • 1Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015;133(10):1105-1106. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.2400

Most ophthalmologists are familiar with viral infections of the eye, especially herpes simplex, herpes zoster, and cytomegalovirus. It is rare that other viral infections, such as rubella and measles, may also affect the eye. In past years, several emerging viral epidemics, many with ophthalmic manifestations, have been reported. For example, in 1999, West Nile virus entered the United States in New York and spread westward across the country, damaging multiple organ systems in patients and causing neurologic complications and ocular manifestations, such as chorioretinitis and ischemic retinopathy, in patients with diabetes mellitus.1 Other previously rare viral infections are now active, including chikungunya and, most sensationally today, Ebola, which many people do not realize may have a lingering and catastrophic effect on the eye.

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