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A Step in the Right Direction

At a Recent AAFP Workshop, Dr. Thara Foreste-Magloire (Class of 2014) Presented Research that Could Prevent the Zika Virus from Going Undetected.

In early October, a vaccine for the mosquito-borne Zika virus, made by reproducing sections of Zika DNA rather than from inactivated or killed versions of the Zika virus, showed promising results in an early, human trials. In November 2016, the World Health Organization declared that Zika was no longer an emergency, but it is expected to continue spreading in the 60 countries where it is found. The Caribbean is among the regions that carry the risk of Zika transmission.

Dr. Thara Foreste-Magloire, a Family Medicine Resident at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, New York, and a 2014 AUA graduate, is among those who presented research on Zika at this year’s American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Family Medicine Global Health Workshop in Houston, Texas, on October 5th.

The poster that Dr. Foreste-Magloire presented, “Zika Virus in the Neonate,” stresses the importance of further Zika tests for pregnant women who are negative for Zika but positive for either Dengue or Chikungunya because all three viruses are transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, and they are often comorbid. As Dr. Foreste-Magloire and her co-researchers explain in their abstract, the instruments and methods typically used to test for Zika, “refined diagnostic techniques such as RT-PCR and serology,” often yield false negatives. The Zika virus can result in severe birth defects. To rule it out, they recommend using alternative diagnostic tools like “fetal head ultrasound, newborn hearing and ophthalmology assessments, [and] laboratory testing,” along with routine follow-ups, in addition to the initial tests.

As a university, we are proud of all AUA alumni who are recognized for their work as clinicians and researchers. We are especially honored that Dr. Foreste-Magloire is contributing to the discussion about how to solve a global health issue that affects so many children and families.