Zika virus may cause myelitis, paralysis

WHILE the majority, about 75 to 80 per cent of Zika infections, are so mild that people do not realise they are infected, recent discoveries suggest that in a small minority of cases people may suffer consequences that are just being revealed. The finding of high concentrations of the Zika virus within the cerebro-spinal fluid (liquid around the brain and spinal cord), blood, and urine of a 15-year-old girl admitted to hospital with partial paralysis, limb weakness and intense pain in the eastern Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, suggests that the Zika virus may well have been the cause for her symptoms. The Zika virus was also found in the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord of an 81-year-old man hospitalised in Paris, France, with partial paralysis, fever and semi-consciousness.