Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a rare condition that attacks the peripheral nervous system, such as the limbs, which interferes with movement and motor coordination. The immune system attacks the myeline coating nerves that transmit information from the brain to the limbs. Normally there are only one or two cases of GBS per one hundred thousand adults, but during the height of the epidemic, hospitals in Latin American countries were seeing as many as fifteen cases a day.
Research shows that up to forty percent of Zika patients are carrying the genetic information for GBS. Researchers now believe that developing GBS is just as likely as an infant developing birth defects as a result of being born to an infected mother. For a long time cases of GBS went underreported, since the syndrome occurs several weeks after transmission. Researchers are already reporting a decrease in GBS cases as a result of the hurricanes washing away Zika breeding sites, but the threat of GBS is far from gone.
Do you know anyone with Guillain-Barre Syndrome? What other health complications do you think will arise due to the Zika virus?