Meningitis: Zika virus obviously a threat to adults too

Meningitis: Zika virus obviously a threat to adults too

Dangerous Zika virus apparently can also damage adult brains
The Zika virus, which is suspected of causing skull malformations in newborns, may also damage the brains of adults. French researchers report on a man who apparently got meningitis from the pathogen.

Especially dangerous for unborn babies
The dangerous Zika virus has been spreading in several countries in Central and South America for months. The pathogen was occasionally brought to other regions of the world by travelers. Several Zika cases have also been reported in Germany in recent months. The pathogen is considered dangerous for unborn babies. But now French scientists have also warned of possible harm to adults. According to the experts, Zika apparently caused a man to have meningitis.

Zika may damage adult brains
The Zika virus is not fatal and, according to health experts, leads to flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and sometimes skin rash in around 20 percent of those infected. The pathogen is also held responsible for thousands of cases of microcephaly in babies. The children are born with an unusually small head, which can lead to brain malformations. As French researchers have now reported in the journal "New England Journal of Medicine", the pathogen can apparently also damage the brains of adults.

Virus found in spinal fluid
In the article, the scientists described the case of an 81-year-old man who was taken to a hospital in Créteil near Paris after a cruise in January. The Zika virus is said to have been found in its spinal fluid. According to the information, the patient, who was completely healthy before his cruise in the Pacific, suffered from high fever and paralysis and had in the meantime fallen into a coma. In the clinic, meningitis was diagnosed. Meanwhile, the patient is feeling a little better.

No clear proof yet
According to a report by the AFP news agency, the co-author of the study, Guillaume Carteaux, said: "This is the first case of this type that we know of has been reported." Although no other virus or virus was a possible trigger other than the Zika virus other infectious agents have been identified, but this is not yet evidence that Zika caused the inflammation. Recently, another French research team had reported a possible link between the Zika virus and severe spinal inflammation. According to the article in the specialist journal "EurekAlert!", The virus was detected in the spinal cord of a 15-year-old woman who was admitted to the university clinic of the city of Pointe-à-Pitre in the French overseas region of Guadeloupe in mid-January with a hemiplegia. (ad)

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