Scientists to study probable link between Zika virus and anerve condition

A team of scientists in South America are aiming to determine if there is any link between mosquito-borne Zika virus and a rare nerve condition that can cause paralysis and leave victims on life-support.

The dangerous Zika virus is already linked to a rash of microcephaly that causes birth defects in babies, who are born with unusually small heads. The healthcare workers in Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador have advised women in those countries to avoid the risk by postponing pregnancies. The researchers are yet to determine how the virus may affect infants.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also advised pregnant women to consider travel to countries with Zika virus outbreak. It added the warning to 22 destinations, most of which are in Latin America and the Caribbean nations.

Health officials are concerned over the rise of Guillain-Barré. The rare nerve disorder causes muscle weakness in the legs and then spreads to arms and face, and can cause numbness, trouble walking and even limb paralysis. The disease is very rare and is thought to be triggered by an infection and usually happens when the immune system attacks the body's own nervous system. The link between an outbreak of Zika and Guillain-Barre was first suspected in French Polynesia when the rare condition cases rose with an outbreak of Zika.