Zika Virus FAQs

It appears from Brazilian researchers and neurologists that the preliminary media reports might be somewhat misleading on this link as the actual cases of GBS that can be clearly linked to preceding Zika virus infection have been small when attempts have been made to better clarify the relationship by skilled clinical neurologists. As of this time we do not have enough evidence to make this type of estimate.

Susceptibility to Zika virus is a function of mosquito exposure in endemic areas, and has nothing to do with having had prior GBS; 80% of patients infected with the Zika virus have no symptoms, and the remainder develop a benign viral syndrome manifest by fever, aches and pains, headache, rash and conjunctivitis that resolves over 7-11 days. Having had a prior episode of GBS should have no bearing on the risk of Zika infection.

Patients should be directed to the CDC website for the most current travel recommendations. There is, as of now, no proven association between a history of prior GBS and developing recurrent GBS upon traveling to an endemic area, as the exact relationship between the Zika virus and any trigger to a first episode of GBS has yet to be scientifically substantiated. Pregnant women (regardless of prior GBS status) are strongly discouraged from traveling to the affected regions.