A new study has provided the first evidence that Zika virus may be behind a serious neurological disorder that is known as Guillain-Barre syndrome.
The research was done using blood samples gotten from 42 patients that suffered from the disease in a previous outbreak.
The subjects were found to have had neurological problems, six days after they were infected by Zika.
The study was described to be compelling by leading scientists.
The World Health Organization in early February declared Zika as a public health emergency and needed to get the concern of the international community.
The mosquito-transmitted virus has raised alarm in South and Central America where the outbreak was first recorded. It is suspected to be the cause of births in which the brains of the babies is under-developed- microcephaly.
Experts have raised questions as to whether Zika can be linked to other medical conditions also.
Guillain-Barre syndrome causes muscles to be weak and in a severe case, breathing problems do arise and thus one will need intensive care.
The blood samples of the patients that had developed the disorder after a Zika outbreak in French Polynesia 2 yrs ago was analyzed by the researchers.
The lead scientist, Professor Arnaud Fontanet, said that the deterioration rate of these patients was much faster than it usually happen in Guillain-Barre.
However, after going past the acute phase, they recovered at a faster pace.
None of the 42 patients died after the infection bur they had weakness and needed to be supported even while walking.
Glasgow University professor, Mr. Hugh, spoke to BBC News and said that at an individual level, people shouldn’t be frightened and think that once they get the Zika virus it will mean they have the Guillain-Barre syndrome. The risk of such an occurrence happening is low.
However, if a million people got infected with the virus,that would mean it is hundreds of Guillain-Barre syndrome cases.
Dr. Jeremy, Wellcome Trust director, said that the study gives compelling evidence that there is a causative link between Zika virus and Guillain-Barre syndrome.