New Study Indicates The Zika Virus May Cause Guillain-Barré Syndrome According To Brazilian Doctor Sergio Cortes
The Zika virus is turning out to be more than a bug that causes muscles aches, rash and fever. A study conducted by Professor Arnaud Fontanet, from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, said 42 patients who were infected during a previous outbreak of the Zika virus in French Polynesia were tested, and neurological problems surfaced around six days after they were infected. Sergio Cortes, the former Secretary of Health in Brazil said Professor Fontanet’s study is very compelling. Dr. Cortes has a great deal of information about the Zika virus on his website.
The Zika virus is a product of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Brazil has been dealing with an outbreak of the virus since April 2015. The rapid spreading virus has found it way to other South American countries, the Caribbean Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States. Isolated cases of the virus have also been reported in Europe and Australia. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a public health emergency in February.
Zika has also been suspected of playing a role in microcephaly in newborn babies, but the scientific evidence hasn’t confirmed that connection. The Fontanet study adds more fuel to mysteries that surround the virus. The neurological problems described in the study are symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Guillain-Barré syndrome leads to chronic muscle weakness and in some cases breathing becomes so difficult that intensive care is required, according to Dr. Cortes. Dr. Cortes tweeted the virus actually attacks peripheral nerves. Patients in the study deteriorated faster than the other cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome that were studied in the past. Dr. Cortes has posted several articles about Zika virus complications on his LinkedIn page.
Dr. Cortes said none of the 42 patients in the study died. But Professor Fontanet thinks the countries that have a Zika virus outbreak should be prepared to see more cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Cortes recently posted an article on his Facebook page that talked about the number of cases of microcephaly that have been reported in the same area in Brazil where the Zika virus was first reported. Adding this second threat will only exacerbate the fear that is already moving to panic mode in several countries.
The scale and the speed of the Zika outbreak has surprised medical researchers, and most of them say more information about the effects of the virus is being uncovered on a daily basis. Dr. Cortes and other medical professions think the Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly are products of Zika, but not all infected people will get those diseases. But if researchers are right about the number of people that will be infected with the virus over the next six months, Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly cases will increase.
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