Paralysis cases could help identify Zika spread, researchers say

Zika virus is associated with a number of medical problems, and Latin America, health officials are now finding that reported cases of the virus tracking closely with the appearance of a temporary paralysis called Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Researchers say that means EGB increased could be a sign that Zika is spreading. Zika infection can occur in many ways, from almost no symptoms of febrile illness in the making. Most people tend to have no symptoms, so the dramatic presentation of a clearer signal GBS infection.

“Reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome can serve as a sentinel for [Zika] and others linked to [Zika] neurological disorders, including microcephaly,” researchers wrote Wednesday in the New Journal of Medicine England, referring to birth defect caused by the virus when it infects pregnant women.

This follows warnings from scientists studying the relationship between Zika and GBS in Tahiti that Latin American countries need to prepare for the expensive and extensive care that goes along with the GBS.

“it is clear that increases in the incidence of Guillain-Barre syndrome at a level that is 2.0 and 9.8 times higher than the line base, as we reported here, impose a considerable burden on populations and health services in this region, “wrote the team, consisting of researchers from the World health Organization, the Pan American health Organization, and ministries of health of each country.

The researchers found that nearly 1,500 of the more than 164,000 people with the infection Zika confirmed or suspected surveyed came down with GBS. As the number of infections Zika rose and fell during a period of one year ending in March, so did the number of people suffering temporary paralysis associated with GBS.

According to the World Health Organization, there is a “scientific consensus” that causes GBS Zika.

The virus is mainly spread by mosquitoes, but can be transmitted through sex. When it infects pregnant women, may cause birth defects in their unborn debilitating.

for the new report, officials reporting from six countries – Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Suriname and Venezuela – as well as the state of Bahia, Brazil, found GBS increased during the epidemic Zika, with rising rates of 100 percent in El Salvador to 877 percent in Venezuela.

the researchers also found that the incidence of GBS was 28 percent higher in men than in women, which coincides with what scientists have seen in cases of GBS induced by other infections.

the study of the relationship between Zika and GBS has been a challenge due to other diseases viral, including that caused by dengue virus closely related, also cause GBS. The distinction between the two viruses in tests is difficult.

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