JAMAICA GLEANER – Reports are emerging out of Brazil, that a second rare illness may be linked to the outbreak of the Zika virus (ZIKV) spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Health officials across the region including Jamaica have warned that the virus could be linked to microcephaly, a brain defect resulting in babies being born with unusually small heads.
However, the New York Times newspaper is reporting that Brazilian officials and doctors are warning about hundreds of cases of a rare syndrome in which patients can be almost completely paralyzed for weeks.
According to the report, disease specialists in Brazil say ZIKV may also be causing a surge in another rare condition, known as the Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
It is a potentially life-threatening syndrome in which a person’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system, leaving some patients unable to move and dependent on life support.
The New York Times says until recently, the condition was so rare that Brazil’s health ministry did not require regional officials to report it.
However, last year, the authorities in northeast Brazil, which was hit hardest by theZika virus, counted hundreds of cases of GBS prompting doctors to raise alarm.