Zika linked Guillain–Barré Syndrome diagnosed in Mexico

The first 5 cases diagnosed in Mexico of Guillain–Barré Syndrome adds Mexico to the list of other Latin American countries (Brazil, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Venezuela) that have reported this condition in association with Zika virus infections. The cases were found in the Mexican states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Guerrero y Quintana Roo. In the past year, a total of almost 4,000 cases of Zika infection have been reported in Mexico, but there are no cases to date of microcephaly.

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Advice For Travellers

Guillain–Barré syndrome is relatively rare condition characterized by the rapid-onset of a neurological illness with muscle weakness that may develop over half a day to four weeks and that may affect the breathing muscles.

At present, the association between Zika virus and this syndrome still requires further scientific evidence. However, as a precautionary measure, travellers can minimize the risk of exposure to Zika virus by taking all necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites. If neurological symptoms appear after visiting areas where Zika virus is present, travellers should consult their physician immediately.

The risk of exposure to this virus in some localities may be high. The risk of exposure for the general traveller in any particular location is difficult to estimate since so many infected people have no symptoms and are not recorded officially. There may be many infected people in the community.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for this infection.