Detecting Guillain-Barré syndrome caused by Zika virus using systems developed for polio surveillance

Zika virus disease is caused by a ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus, which is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species. Around 80% of infections are asymptomatic. Symptomatic infections are characterized by mild fever lasting from four to seven days, associated with maculopapular rash, arthralgia, conjunctivitis, muscle pain and headache. Until recently, Zika virus disease has never been associated with deaths, intrauterine infections, or congenital anomalies. In 2013 and 2014, during an outbreak in French Polynesia, the disease was linked with GuillainBarré syndrome. Zika infection can be established by detection of Zika virus RNA or specific viral antigens in human clinical samples.

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