The United States healthcare agency, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has added more Caribbean countries to the list of places to be avoided by Americans because of the outbreak of the Zika virus.
On Friday, the CDC added Barbados, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and Guyana to its Zika virus travel alert. Other countries also added are Bolivia, Ecuador, Cape Verde and Samoa.
On January 15, the CDC issued a travel alert for people traveling to regions and certain countries where the mosquito borne Zika virus is being transmitted.
They were: Puerto Rico, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela.
The CDC said specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are “often difficult to determine and are likely to continue to change over time.”
It, however, said it is working with other public health officials to monitor for ongoing Zika virus transmission.
Additionally, the CDC said Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has been reported in patients with probable Zika virus infection in French Polynesia and Brazil.
“Guillain-Barré syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the body usually is responding to another infection. It has an immune response that destroys the covering of nerves and interferes with the ability of nerves to function and survive,” said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious diseases specialist at North Shore University Hospital, in Manhasset, New York.
Guillain-Barré causes an “ascending motor paralysis” that starts at the feet and moves up towards the head.
The CDC says research efforts will also examine the link between Zika and GBS.