Zika virus might be tied to a paralysis according to Brazilian reports

Published: Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 - 08:22:18 AM
by Jeff

Earlier this month it was discovered that the Zika virus in Brazil was very likely associated with the high occurrence of Microcephaly there, but on Thursday health officials there have discovered that the ailment might also be associated with paralysis due to Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Guillain-Barré syndrome

Disease specialists in Brazil are now saying the virus may cause a rare condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome, in which a person's immune system attacks part of the nervous system. It is potentially life threatening. Weakness and tingling in your extremities are usually the first symptoms and eventually total paralysis of the body.

There's no known cure for Guillain-Barré syndrome, but several treatments are associate with palliative care (care of symptoms). Most people recover from Guillain-Barre syndrome, though some may experience lingering effects from it, such as weakness, numbness or fatigue.

Zika virus

Known symptoms for the Zika fever include fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain and headache. Treatment involves comforting the symptoms and indulging in plenty rest and fluids. Pain medication such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen should be avoided until Dengue fever is ruled out by a medical doctor.

In 2015 an outbreak of the Zika fever in Brazil later triggered officials there to associate infants born since as having contracted Microcephaly from the viral fever. Brazil's Health Ministry says 3,530 babies have been born with Microcephaly in the country since October, compared with less than 150 in 2014. Scientists are yet to confirm any aetiolgy. Meanwhile, health officials in Brazil are trying to control the mosquito population there with the introduction of a genetically engineered species of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel alert (Level 2 - Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people travelling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Marteen, Suriname, and Venezuela thus far.


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