VTC Medical School brings Brazilian doctor researching Zika virus to Roanoke

By Brie Jackson - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is establishing partnerships with universities across the country. The goal is teach medical students about other cultures and how doctors address healthcare needs in other parts of the world.

This week Dr. Gustavo Pinto is visiting Roanoke from Brazil. Dr. Pinto researches infectious diseases such as HIV and the Zika virus. His trip to Roanoke is part of Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine's plan to have medical students take part in an international rotation. Organizers said the goal is to learn about healthcare in other countries.

"We have different conditions in our hospitals and our patients clinic" said Dr. Pinto. "So I think it is important for our new doctors to see that it's not only how you do it here in the U.S..There are different realities and how to manage different situations."

According to the World Health Organization, Zika cases were confirmed in Brazil in February 2015, with an estimated 160,000 brazilians becoming infected with the virus. The Center for Disease Control says there have been a total of 3,625 know Zika cases in the U.S. since January of 2015. Dr. Gustavo Pinto said the virus was dormant until about 7 years ago. Now researchers want to know why cases have returned.

"We have to discover why the change of this virus and the consequences over the next few years" Dr. Pinto said.

Dr. Gustavo Pinto will host a public presentation on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. The event is open to the public. A brief reception will follow please email lpearobaker@carilionclinic.org if you plan to attend.

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