Campbell Medicine addresses Zika Virus

BUIES CREEK, North Carolina – Harry A. Gallis, MD, addressed the Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine students, faculty and staff today at the inaugural 2016-2017 Grand Rounds presentation at Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences.

Dr. Gallis provided the history of the virus from its identification in 1947 through 10 a.m. today.

“Anything that you are going to hear won’t be definitive for very long,” said Gallis.  “Zika is an ongoing, evolving problem.”

Dr. Gallis, a graduate of Princeton University and Duke University School of Medicine, completed postgraduate training in internal medicine, nephrology, and infectious diseases at Duke University and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He served for two years in the Public Health Service in the Laboratory of Microbiology at the National Institutes of Health.

At Duke, Dr. Gallis rose to the rank of Associate Professor of Medicine prior to leaving in 1994 to take a position as Vice President for Regional Education at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC.  He also served as director of AHEC activities both at Duke and Charlotte AHEC programs. Since retiring from Carolinas HealthCare System in 2008, he has pursued consulting activities in CME and is currently staff consultant for the North Carolina Medical Society’s CME Recognition program. He also chairs the CME accreditation subcommittee for the Infectious Diseases Society of America and has been active in the development of new CME approaches for the IDSA.

Dr. Gallis reviewed with the Grand Rounds attendees Zika’s similarities to 11 other viruses that present with similar symptoms and that are contracted in the same geographic distribution areas, and he discussed the CDC’s June 2016 draft management plan for the virus.

“The problem is pregnancy,” Gallis said gravely.  “It’s going to bring major difficulty, anxiety, and stress in the U.S. and everywhere else.  It’s difficult to counsel women exposed in their 1st trimester of pregnancy – this is the big issue.”

Currently, there is no treatment to prevent fetal transmission for any Zika virus or any of the similar viruses discussed.

However, Dr. Gallis reminded attendees, “If you can eradicate polio from Brazil, then we can do anything!”

“It was wonderful to have Dr. Harry Gallis speak about Zika Virus at Grand Rounds today,” said Kara Smith (CUSOM 2020).  “He was very knowledgable and thorough, presenting us with the newest findings and publications as well as the traveler’s perspective on prevention. Having personally traveled abroad for medical mission trips, it was very interesting to hear his thoughts on various preventative measures. As a new medical student, his presentation was a welcome change of pace and a good example of real-world application of the knowledge we are gaining.”