New search

Maura O. Stevenson
Associate Teaching Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Quinnipiac University
Bringing Home More than a Medal: An Olympian’s Battle Following Zika Virus Infection

This case study was inspired by the Zika virus outbreak that occurred around the time of the 2016 Olympic Games. Many athletes were fearful of attending because of the link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in infants. This concern, however, ran contrary to reports suggesting that the risk of athletes and other travelers becoming infected was remarkably low. Jessica, a fictional Olympic equestrian and the main character of the case, was unfortunately very unlucky and contracted Zika virus near the time of the Games. She ended up enduring negative health complications likely as a consequence of the infection.  This case was designed to be implemented in the nervous system unit of a human biology or anatomy and physiology course. The case is also appropriate for microbiology and public health courses.   Students are expected to have foundational knowledge in viral life cycles, and will explore disruptions in neurotransmission as well as abnormal fetal brain development.