13 April 2016
According to a new study in Brazil, it’s being speculated that some people infected with the Zika virus may develop a rare neurological disorder that is similar to multiple sclerosis (Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and the body.)
The study reports two cases of people who were infected with the Zika virus who later developed a condition called Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM). In people with this condition, the body’s own immune system causes swelling in the brain and spinal cord, and damages the protective coating of nerve fibres called myelin.
Key facts about Zika virus:
- Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes
- People with Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
- There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
- The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
- The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.