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June 7, 2016: Guillain-Barré Syndrome Effects Some People Sickened by The Zika Virus

Tony Leys reports that “Polly Carver-Kimm has painful insight into her message these days as spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Public Health.

“Carver-Kimm is helping warn people about the Zika virus, which mosquitoes are spreading through the Caribbean, South America and could become a threat in the Southern United States. The possible complications include Guillain-Barré syndrome, which attacks nerve cells, causing muscle weakness, tingling and even paralysis.

“Carver-Kimm hasn’t contracted the Zika virus, but she has struggled with an illness related to Guillain-Barré syndrome since 2012, when it knocked her flat. She has suffered intense pain. She has fallen down stairs. She has been put on a ventilator to help her breathe. She has twice had to relearn how to use her legs, and she still has some paralysis in her face.

“’I actually consider myself very lucky that I’m working and I’m walking,’ she said.

“She continues to feel tingling in her limbs. She needs a nap to make it through some workdays. But she’s still out there, helping Iowans understand how to keep themselves well.

“No one knows for sure what sparks Guillain-Barré, though it often strikes after people are sickened by influenza or other illnesses. Scientists have recently noted an increase in cases among people sickened by the Zika virus, though they’re trying to confirm the link.”

Source: The Des Moines Register

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