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Acute Paralysis and Neuro-inflammation in Jamaican Children during Zika virus and Dengue Epidemics of 2016

Issue: 
DOI: 
10.7727/wimjopen.2016.526
Pages: 
12-7

Dengue, Chikungunya fever (CHIKV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) are all transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and are currently circulating in Jamaica. Jamaica has been experiencing a ZIKV epidemic since February 2016. At the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Kingston, Jamaica, a cluster of five cases of paralysis attributed to neuro-inflammation was noted amongst adolescents admitted to the Institution. Three were diagnosed with acute myelitis and one each with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). In these patients, there were common presenting symptoms, characteristic findings of peripheral nerve involvement and a history of contact with persons with symptoms of possible ZIKV in the majority. In only one case was a viral association, Dengue infection, confirmed. This case series suggests a unique clinical pattern of neuro-inflammation in Jamaican adolescents occurring during the ZIKV epidemic and questions the role of the three circulating arboviruses in the pathogenesis.

Accepted: 
October 24, 2016
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