CDC looks into Zika, paral­y­sis

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By The Wash­ing­ton Post

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.

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