New Evidence of Link Between Zika and Guillain-Barré

New Evidence of Link Between Zika and Guillain-Barré

FRIDAY, May 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) — There is new evidence that Zika may cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, according to findings presented at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference, held from May 2 to 5 in Atlanta.

The CDC’s Ashley Styczynski, M.D., looked at 41 people in Brazil who developed the condition and found that nearly 90 percent of them had earlier suffered Zika-like symptoms, the Associated Press reported. However, the study authors noted that this was a small study and they don’t yet have blood test results that would show whether the patients were infected with Zika before developing Guillain-Barré. Those results are expected in about a month.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of people in Brazil with Guillain-Barré since the Zika outbreak began, the AP reported. Scientists believe the body produces antibodies to combat a Zika infection and when the initial Zika symptoms subside, the antibodies attack the peripheral nerves, the AP reported.

A study published earlier this year found Zika antibodies in nearly all people who developed Guillain-Barré during a Zika outbreak in French Polynesia in 2013 and 2014.

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