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Zika Virus Linked to Paralysis Disorder in U.S., CDC Says


Aedes mosquitoes can transmit Zika virus as well as dengue and other diseases. Now, the CDC says it may be connected to Guillain-Barré, a rare condition that can cause paralysis.  ISTOCKPHOTO

There are two cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome linked to Zika in the U.S., the CDC says - by Alexandra Sifferlin - February 18, 2016

Two confirmed cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome linked to the Zika virus have been reported in the U.S., health authorities told TIME on Thursday.

The link between Zika and the birth defect microcephaly has received much attention. But health experts are also concerned about the link between the virus and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a condition where the immune system starts attacking the body’s nerves, which leads to weakness that can eventually result in temporary paralysis. In some cases, the disorder can interfere with breathing.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed to TIME that there have been two cases of GBS in the U.S. in people who also tested positive for Zika virus.



CLICK HERE - CBS News - Zika virus raises new worry about paralysis

CLICK HERE - The Scientist Magazine - Zika Update


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Comments - by Nick Miroff - February 21, 2016

TURBO, Colombia – The Zika epidemic flaring across the Americas has produced several hot spots with large numbers of cases. But there is no place quite like Turbo.

The mosquito-borne virus has spread rapidly here and across lowland Colombia, but the city is unusual for the subsequent outbreak of a rare, debilitating disorder known as Guillain-Barre syndrome, whose precise link to the virus remains unclear. . . .

. . . Those with aggressive Guillain-Barre need complicated blood transfusions or a treatment known as immunoglobulin therapy to essentially wash out the harmful antibodies. But the treatments can cost more than $10,000, and patients may need several rounds.

Colombia says that more than 30,000 citizens have been diagnosed with Zika so far, with 97 cases linked to Guillain-Barre. Brazil, Venezuela, El Salvador and Suriname have also reported a surge in the disorder. The same pattern appeared during the Zika outbreak in French Polynesia in 2013 and 2014, when at least 42 patients, most of whom were diagnosed with Zika, developed Guillain-Barre.

“We are seeing a spike everywhere that we are seeing the Zika virus,” said Tarun Dua, a neurologist at the World Health Organization (WHO). What’s unclear is whether Zika is causing Guillain-Barre or whether it is”cross-reacting” with antibodies from other widespread mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue or chikungunya.

Another major problem: There is no widely available, quick test for Zika, and the virus remains in an infected patient’s blood only for about a week. So it’s difficult to test for Zika in patients hospitalized with Guillain-Barre symptoms.


CLICK HERE - STUDY - The Lancet - Guillain-Barré Syndrome outbreak associated with Zika virus infection in French Polynesia: a case-control study - by Kate Kelland - February 29, 2016

French scientists say they have proved a link between the Zika virus and a nerve syndrome called Guillain-Barre, suggesting countries hit by the Zika epidemic will see a rise in cases of the serious neurological condition.

Guillain-Barre (GBS) is a rare syndrome in which the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system. . . .

. . . "The regions which are affected by the Zika virus epidemic are likely to see a significant increase in the number of patients with serious neurological complications, and when possible, should increase the capacity of health-care facilities to receive patients needing intensive care."


ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE - BBC - Study shows Zika 'might cause' Guillain-Barré syndrome - Thiery, G., Valentino, R. & Meddhaoui, H. - Intensive Care Med (2016) 42: 1485. doi:10.1007/s00134-016-4364-x

 . . . we must be prepared to face a high number of patients with GBS in areas in which the ZIKV is circulating . . . Secondly, although the ascendant phase and the plateau are relatively short in the global population, the duration of respiratory muscle weakness might be very long in some patients requiring mechanical ventilation, leading to notably longer duration of stay in the ICU. The combination of these two factors may lead to overwhelming pressure on ICUs . . . Both critical care physicians and health policy decision makers should take this threat seriously into account in allocating appropriate resources in areas affected by the epidemic.

CLICK HERE - SpringerLink - Intensive Care Medicine - Zika virus-associated Guillain–Barré syndrome: a warning for critical care physicians

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