‘Six Months Of Hell’: Zika Is Hitting Some Travellers Harder Than Expected

A new study finds that a group of Canadian travellers experienced severe complications more often than anticipated.

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Mar 6 2017, 8:21pm

Image: Lapa Rios Lodge via AP

In August of 2016, Jen took a trip to central America. The 35-year-old Canadian knew that Zika was circulating in the area, but she wasn't overly worried—she wasn't planning to have a baby at that time, and her impression was that the virus was only really a problem for pregnant women who are infected. (It's been linked to birth defects.)

Near the end of her trip, Jen (whose name was changed to protect her health details, and who declined to say exactly which country she'd visited to further protect her identity) developed a rash, "followed by odd sensations in my lower extremities," she said. She was diagnosed with Zika, but not only that—she'd come down Zika-triggered Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), which can cause muscle weakness and temporary paralysis.

GBS appears to be associated with the virus, but it's thought to be rare. Public health agencies including the CDC say that Zika symptoms are typically mild, and could include fever, rash and joint pain. In fact, you might not even notice you're sick at all.

Read more on Motherboard.