Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) is an auto-immune disease which causes rapid-onset muscle weakness as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system. Many experience changes in sensation or develop pain, followed by muscle weakness beginning in the feet and hands. The symptoms develop over half a day to two weeks.
GBS is a debilitating neurological disorder. The body's immune system attacks protective sheaths around nerve cells, causing weakness and paralysis. There is nothing that can be done to ensure that a Zika infection doesn't turn into GBS. The Guillain–Barré syndrome carries the risk of death and requires prolonged intensive care. Normally GBS affects less than 2 people per 100,000 in an year in the United States.
The Syndrome can cause breathing problems and even paralysis. The GBS causes the immune system to attack the nervous system, including the motor nerves used by the brain to control muscles. It is the leading cause of paralysis in the Western countries. According to reports, one in 20 persons diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome die from it.
- Tingling sensations in hands and feet
- Muscle weakness
- Breathing problems
Fewer than 5% of patients die and around 30% require ventilation to help with breathing difficulties.
The World Health Organization said that the cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome were on a rise in countries like Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Suriname, and Venezuela where there is Zika virus outbreak.