CDC looks into Zika, paralysis
washington» U.S. and Brazilian health officials are investigating whether there may be an association between the mosquito-borne Zika virus that is spreading in the South American country and an increase in cases of a rare syndrome that causes paralysis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent a four-member team to Brazil to help officials in the investigation of the growing number of cases of GuillainBarré syndrome and a potential connection to the Zika outbreak there.
Spokeswoman Christine Pearson said Thursday that the CDC team, dispatched at Brazil’s request, has been on the ground for less than a week. It includes a neuroepidemiologist and a medical epidemiologist.
Guillain-Barré syndrome occurs when individuals’ immune systems damage their nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.
Zika is carried by mosquitoes and typically causes only mild symptoms, but health officials globally have been alarmed because of a possible link between the virus and nearly 3,900 children born with suspected microcephaly.