Scientists find link between Zika virus andGuillain-Barre

Scientists find link between Zika virus andGuillain-BarreA team of scientists in France have said that they have found a link between the Zika virus and a nerve syndrome called Guillain-Barre.

The team studying the outbreak found the suspected link between the mosquito borne virus and the nerve syndrome. There are indications that there will be a rise in cases of the serious neurological condition in countries affected by the Zika virus. Experts said that Guillain-Barre is a rare syndrome in which the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system. They said that this occurs a few days after exposure to a virus, bacteria or parasite.

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.

The team led by Arnaud Fontanet of France's Institut Pasteur studied data from a Zika outbreak in French Polynesia during 2013 and 2014. They calculated the estimated risk of developing Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) at 2.4 for every
10,000 people infected by Zika. They found the evdeiccne showing a link between the virus and the disease.

Fontanet said, "This work is significant because it allows for the confirmation of the role of Zika virus infection in the occurrences of the severe neurological complications that constitute Guillain-Barré Syndrome. The regions which are affected by the Zika virus epidemic are likely to see a significant increase in the number of patients with serious neurological complications, and when possible, should increase the capacity of health-care facilities to receive patients needing intensive care."

Brazil and Columbia are the most affected countries with estimated cases ranging between 600,000 and 1,700,000. The WHO has said that the mosquito-borne virus is spreading in the Americas and there might be up to four million cases this year.