The deadly Zika virus associated with many neurological defects such as microcephaly, Guillian Barre Syndrome, acute myelitis may also cause another serious disorder called acute sensory polyneuropathy in infected individuals.
Zika virus is spreading in the Latin American countries, with the biggest threat among pregnant women. It is mosquito-borne infection that can infect the fetus of pregnant women by entering through the bloodstream and placenta.
The virus has been linked to cause birth defects and brain abnormalities in the new born babies. Women infected with the virus give birth to babies with smaller heads due to abnormal growth in their brains. This disorder is called as microcephaly.
There were reported cases of Guillian Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, in people affected with the Zika virus. Also, zika virus has been blamed to other neurological infections such as meningoencephalitis or acute myelitis.
Now, researchers from the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) based in Honduras and United States have found another zika virus can be associated with another neurological disorder, acute sensory polyneuropathy.
Experts reported that a person infected with Zika virus does not show any symptoms, but neurological complications of this virus could be higher than expected.
The first case of sensory polyneuropathy was confirmed in a Honduran patient infected with the Zika virus. The infection was found to typically start during the acute infectious phase.
- Sensory polyneuropathy is characterized by severe damage to the peripheral nervous system responsible for transmitting signals to the brain, spinal cord and all parts of the body.
- Damage to the sensory nerves can lead to loss of feelings to touch, loss of balance and loss of position.
- It can also lead to loss of reflexes where a person may not feel pain or temperature changes in the body.
- Peripheral neural damage could be a serious neurological problem as it can impair important functions of brain, motor nerve system and the spinal cord.
Increasing Zika Figures a Cause of Worry
Till now, Zika has spread across 70 countries, with 11 South and North American countries in the midst of an epidemic.
World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the current Zika figures are rapidly increasing which emphasizes a need for a potential drug or vaccine against this deadly virus.