New Evidence Shows Zika May Cause Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Zika may cause Guillain-Barré syndrome
Zika may cause Guillain-Barré syndrome

(HealthDay News) — There is new evidence that Zika may cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Thursday.

Researchers 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.

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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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