Indianapolis News and Headlines


Zika linked to growing list of complications

Posted at 10:02 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-06 00:01:57-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana doctors say everyone -- not just pregnant women -- can be impacted by the Zika virus.

The long-term effects of Zika are still being researched, but they are concerning.

Even if you aren't pregnant, you can still face complications if you become pregnant later in life.

Man or woman -- the effects can be extremely dangerous.

"Some countries have outright told people not to get pregnant," Dr. John Christenson said. 

Dr. Christenson warns Zika has been linked to causing birth defects, babies with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains. It can also cause major complications for anyone. 

"A very small percent, and we do not know exactly what percent that is, can develop neurological problems, complications, specifically Guillain-Barre," he said. 

Guillain-Barre is a rare disorder that can cause spinal cord inflammation and paralysis. 

In most cases it is treatable, but the extents of the virus are still widely unknown. Dr. Christenson says less than 20 percent of people will even show symptoms. 

Often, you could be a carrier and not know. It's why Christenson also recommends caution for spring break. 

"Individuals that have had Zika or they may have Zika, they should use condoms," he said. 

He said you can still travel, but take extra precautions, including using insect repellant and covering exposed skin. 


Download the new and improved RTV6 app to get the latest news on the go and receive alerts to your phone

Sign up to have the latest news headlines delivered straight to your email inbox