Zika and other arboviruses linked to neurological issues


A new study has explored the link between the Zika and chikungunya arboviruses and neurological or cerebrovascular diseases.New research has helped clarify the link between the Zika and chikungunya arboviruses viruses carried by arthropods such as mosquitoes and neurological complications.
The study also found that a person who has both Zika and chikungunya is more likely to have severe symptoms and more likely to experience a stroke.
Arboviruses are carried by mosquitoes, midges, ticks, and sandflies, all of which belong to the phylum Arthropoda and are known as arthropods. When an infected arthropod bites a human, the human may contract the arbovirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that more than 130 types of arbovirus can cause disease in humans. Two arboviruses that have recently spread throughout South America are Zika and chikungunya.
In the Americas, both viruses are commonly spread by the same mosquito species, and according to the CDC, both can cause broadly similar symptoms, including joint or muscle pain, a fever, headaches, swelling, and a rash.
While most people recover without needing treatment in a hospital, both types of illness can occasionally cause severe symptoms. Moreover, if contracted during pregnancy, Zika leads to an increased risk of developmental abnormalities and complications, including microcephaly, which affects the development of the head.
In addition to these risks, there is a growing awareness that neurological diseases are linked to Zika and chikungunya.
Zika infection most often causes a syndrome of rash and fever without many long-term consequences, but these neurological complications ó although rare can require intensive care support in hospital, often result in disability, and may cause death.
In the present study, the researchers wanted to explore the different ways that arboviruses such as Zika and chikungunya result in neurological diseases. They also wanted to assess whether people who contract two arboviruses tend to develop different diseases or experience a change in disease severity. To do so, they conducted a 2-year study starting on December 4th, 2014, in Recife during an epidemic of Zika and chikungunya. In addition, the dengue arbovirus, which causes dengue fever and has been linked to neurological complications, is also endemic in the area.
The researchers found that a significant number of the participants with a confirmed arboviral infection had symptoms affecting either their central nervous system or peripheral nervous system.


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