the Zika viruswhich sows panic on the American continent does not stop talking about him. Transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, the Zika virus causes mild flu-like symptoms and may be involved in cases of fetal microcephaly. He is also suspected of being able to be sexually transmitted. But the observation does not stop there. According to French infectious disease researchers from Papeete (French Polynesia), the Institut Pasteur and the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital (Paris), the Zika virus could also be the cause of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a serious neurological pathology leading to paralysis of the limbs and respiratory impairment.
Increase intensive care capacity
In a study published on February 29, 2016 in the scientific journal The Lancet, the scientists explain that they retroactively analyzed the association between Zika and Guillain-Barré in Polynesia, during the 2013-2014 epidemic. Of 42 patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome, 41 have anti-Zika virus antibodies, which means that they have already contracted this disease. In comparison, none of these antibodies were observed in the control group of 98 people without Guillain-Barré syndrome. “This is the first study proving that Zika virus infection causes Guillain-Barré syndrome. As the Zika virus is spreading rapidly across the Americas, countries at risk must establish adequate intensive care capacity to care for patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome.“, warn the authors in their study.
Guillain-Barré syndrome damages the myelin, the sheath that surrounds the nerves. It is usually caused by viral and bacterial infection. Zika would therefore join the list of infectious agents involved in triggering this pathology, which already includes the Epstein Barr virus (the mononucleosis) and the bacteria Campylobacter pillory (responsible for some gastroenteritis).
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